MP raises concern over cuts to mental health helpline
After funding for a mental health helpline was not renewed, a Norwich MP has written to the minister responsible for mental health funding.
Norwich North MP, Chloe Smith, has contacted Alistair Burt over her concerns surrounding mental health funding, reports EDP24.
The helpline was launched in January by then care Minister Norman Lamb and is run by Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind. Since its opening the helping has had over 6,000 calls from people in need.
Mr Lamb said he was “horrified” at the decision and said it was another example of mental health losing out.
The clinical commissioning groups have said they acknowledged the good work of the helpline, but were unable to commit sufficient funds for it to continue. It would cost £165,000 to keep the helpline open until March next year.
Ms Smith said: “This line is a serious help to many of my constituents and people across Norfolk. I want to know if the decision to stop it was taken with good evidence. I also want to understand why it was only planned from seasonal money in the first place, when surely the calls aren’t only seasonal. I have also pressed the minister to respond on the future of such funding. It is important that mental health is given equal weighting to physical health, and funded accordingly.”
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