Decision to reduce mental health centre 'abandons' sufferers
Adam Shaw Local Democracy Reporter
- Credit: LDRS
Long-term users of a mental health centre said they feel like they have been “abandoned” after cuts to its services following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Harrow Council reduced the size of The Bridge with large parts of it replaced by a community kitchen while some programmes are now only on offer for a maximum of three months.
Centre regular Lisa Hanna said: “Some people have long-term mental health illnesses, but the council doesn’t seem to understand that. Before the pandemic, you could arrive at 9.30am and leave at 4pm. Or there was a drop-in counselling service.
“Now you get an hour a day, it has to be in groups, and we’re told we can only have access for three months at a time. We’re constantly told to ‘pull ourselves together’, but not everyone can just do that."
Harrow Council explained the community kitchen was opened during the pandemic after in-person services at The Bridge were suspended. As lockdowns eased, it decided to keep the kitchen open, which runs a café and cookery classes alongside its food delivery service, while maintaining an area for mental health services.
A spokesperson added: “The Mental Health Service is reopening for in-person support and developing so there is an offer across the borough and there is no intention to close the centre."