15 th March 2012
The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA ) will be joined by mental health advocacy groups and relatives at a lunchtime protest tomorrow to highlight the continuing cuts in Carlow Mental Health Services. The protest will take place tomorrow 16 th March 2012, at 12 p.m.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow's protest, PNA General Secretary, Des Kavanagh said people in the Carlow region are extremely annoyed to see model services that had been built up in Carlow being slowly dismantled.
“Clients have had services cut, outreach services halved and in the case of one very effective service, the S.T.E.E.R. project (Supported Training Education Employment Referral), it has been dismantled completely. The result of this scale of cutbacks in services will be to ultimately put more demands and costs on other areas of the psychiatric services in the long run. All of those concerned with mental health services in Carlo are united in demanding that these cuts be reversed.
Media Contacts : Des Kavanagh 0872313809/ Declan Breen 0874106948
Note to Editors: Among the services being directly impacted on by the current cuts are. :”
•Assertive Outreach Service which provides much needed support to service users will effectively be halved.
This move, as well as being unfair to service users and staff alike is short-sighted, as it will cause an even greater spend in the long run as these clients run an even greater risk of relapse causing more frequent and expensive spells in hospital and a marked drop in quality of life for forgotten service users.
•The S.T.E.E.R. project (Supported Training Education Employment Referral) appears to be discontinued completely.
The service provides a vital link between recovery and full employment. The service is completely recovery orientated in helping to improve quality of life, in making choices and moving on towards going back to some level of education, occupation or work. STEER saw 131 people in 2011. From March 2012 onwards there will be no referrals to STEER with the nursing staff moved to plug holes elsewhere in the service.
•Clann Nua. Management intend to close Clann Nua, a day service for clients living in hostel and sheltered accommodation.
The service users in question are distraught with the loss of this vital service where everything from financial services to medication management was offered to service users. The alternative proposed by management is a significant distance away and places an unbearable pressure on staff already running these other units.
Cutbacks will also affect other grades such as care assistants being withdrawn from the community placing even more pressure on the remaining staff and service users.
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