Mental health care concern

Chairman of Lancaster Peer Support, Dusty Thomas with members of Peer Support, secretary Daphne Sole, Grace Leeson, Phil Williams, James Jones and Angelina Kershaw.
Chairman of Lancaster Peer Support, Dusty Thomas with members of Peer Support, secretary Daphne Sole, Grace Leeson, Phil Williams, James Jones and Angelina Kershaw.

A VOLUNTARY group for people with mental health problems in Lancaster says that individuals are “slipping through the net” after changes to the criteria for treatment and support services.

Peer Support, which is run by former members of Elm House Day Centre in Meeting House Lane, was created following the centre’s closure last September.

Members, many with long-term mental health issues, felt they needed a comfortable place to meet after a new provision,

The Helm, in Fenton Street, failed to live up to expectations. Its opening was also delayed by seven weeks.

Mark Thomas, chairman of Peer Support, said there are now further concerns about a new charging structure for services at The Helm, run by Manchester-based Creative Support, which is due to come into effect in October.

Mr Thomas said: “Three members have managed to get self-directed support (SDS), a personal budget from the county council for group sessions and one-on-ones, but many haven’t.”

See the Lancaster Guardian (11-08-11) for full story.