Perhaps the cruellest cut of all

COMMENT: Going above and beyond is all in a day’s work at QA

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Last week brought the news vulnerable people living in Portsmouth will be dealt a fresh blow as another support service on which they rely faces an uncertain future.

Portsmouth Interaction, which helps those with a mental illness to get healthy and do exercise, is overseen by the city council.

But in the light of more cutbacks being required, the council says it has no choice but to slash the budget in areas which are important.

Whatever sector they cut their spending in it will affect a substantial amount of people.

Mental illness is a serious topic and is something of which we should all be aware.

At some point in our lives we will know, or will have to co-operate with, someone suffering from a mental illness.

And it is vital those who need the support receive it.

I think it is also useful for those who do not have any issue mentally to understand those who do.

Although with the continued pressure by the government on local councils it is understandably impossible to avoid cuts in any area.

We could protest with placards and continue to argue that spending little money on this area is wrong... however we wouldn’t get far.

It was recently announced that the local authority stopped spending money on Portsmouth Mind, one of the city’s longest-running mental health charities.

As a result of this it began the process of closing in December having no more cash to spend on its services.

Moreover, let’s not forget the cuts to national mental health services.

The charities and organisations cannot simply run on fundraising and donations alone. They are consumed in supporting those who need the help and should continue to have funding from the council.

But apparently it is just not feasible.

Seeing the investment into these mental health support services being cut back is heartbreaking. I have met people with depression, anxiety, bipolar and other illnesses and through that have fully understood the importance of the support they have.

So to think they will no longer have as much, if any, support at all frustrates me incredibly.

Yes, our economy is developing. Yes, I understand we need to pay off debt. But surely a person’s health should be a priority? Clearly some people have more important things to prioritise.

The decision that has been made to save money will potentially be life-changing for thousands across our community.