After campaigning from the Medway Labour and Co-operative Group, service users and members of our community, the Conservative Cabinet this week agreed to develop the well-established 147 Nelson Road Mental Health Services, instead of the original proposal to close it.
The Centre, earmarked for closure by Medway Council as part of on-going cuts, helps those with mental health issues regain independence and learn how to cope better with long term conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar and personality disorders.
Earlier this year, Medway Labour Councillors led a campaign to save the resource centre as it became clear that the service was highly valued by users, despite element of staffing and activities being run down in recent times. The Conservative council claimed the centre was outdated and that services offered there did not meet modern expectations.
However, the Cabinet U-turn marks a great win for service users and the wider community, who will benefit from vital services amidst this difficult time.
Medway Labour and Co-operative Group Deputy Leader and Spokesperson for Health, Cllr Teresa Murray said that, ‘I’m really pleased to see common sense prevail, and that our community will keep these vital mental health support services particularly in a time where they are so desperately needed.
‘The Conservative Cabinet’s proposals to close the centre were short-sighted and took no account of the needs of the clients who use it. Our campaign and the consultation responses showed that the centre provides a safe haven and support for people with long-term mental health conditions, and no other Council funded services cater for patients who attend there.
‘Cutting services for some of our community’s most vulnerable people should never have even been considered, but I’m pleased to see the Cabinet do the right thing on this. The centre has strong potential to develop and joint working with the Council’s community mental health outreach team will strengthen services and hopefully reach more people who need them.’