THE manjor mental health charity in the city is facing closure due to lack of funding.
Portsmouth Mind will have to wind up early next year if a new source of funding is not found, its chairman warns.
It will be a disaster if effective care is reduced just as people’s understanding of the impact and need for mental health support reaches its highest ever levelRoger Batterbury
The charity, which has already been diminished by a withdrawal of council funding, has appealed for help in finding business and community sponsors.
Chairman Roger Batterbury said Mind’s closure would a ‘disaster’ for mental health support in the city.
Mr Batterbury said: ‘It will be a disaster if effective care is reduced just as people’s understanding of the impact and need for mental health support reaches its highest ever level.
‘Portsmouth Mind’s own funding has now got so tight that we have had to close our depression peer support group because we cannot afford to support a group leader.
‘It now looks like our November AGM will face the tough fact that Portsmouth Mind will close in the New Year unless we can find at least £2,500 a month from donations and sponsorship.’
Portsmouth Mind has been around for 50 years, providing support for people seeking care independently or referred to them by GPs and social services.
Mr Batterbury said the withdrawal of £300,000 year in support from Portsmouth City Council Social Services two years ago forced the charity to rethink how it could continue to help fill gaps in NHS mental health care.
He said Mind now supported 50 to 100 people a year across the city.
Mr Batterbury said some community groups had raised money for the charity to help keep it afloat.
He said a group of Portsmouth High School students raised £9,000 for Mind after hearing about its work, and the Kings Theatre in Southsea had also contributed.
But Mr Batterbury said this was not enough, and he hoped a way could be found to save Mind from closure.
He said: ‘We appeal to local businesses, organisations and individuals who value a mentally healthy workforce – help us keep Portsmouth Mind’s much valued service going in the absence of better NHS support.’
Anyone interested in finding out more can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.