Wrong to close city Crisis Centre

I WOULD like to express my sadness about the proposed closure of the Leeds Crisis Centre.

I am a trained general and mental health nurse, currently working as a manager in the NHS. I worked at the centre as a Crisis worker from 1994 to 2003.

The centre has provided a unique service to the people of Leeds who are experiencing some sort of crisis in their lives. I am proud to have been a part of this pioneering service, which has always put the client's needs and choices first.

In terms of equality of experience for clients at the centre, irrespective of race, gender, age, sexuality, religion and disability I know of no other service to rival it.

The ideas and concepts that have informed my work latterly in the NHS have been shaped through the learning I acquired at the centre.

The Crisis Centre taught people that a crisis is an opportunity for growth and change. In this way people were helped to make positive developmental changes for themselves. The way that the client's experience of the crisis was acknowledged and supported without fear of pathology was indeed unique and did further assist the journey of recovery for people without fear of prejudice and away from the stigma of mental illness.

The centre provided a place where people could recognise themselves in need but not through the lens of illness. This provided an important alternative to those not requiring the interventions of the psychiatric services.

I was and still am proud to have been a part of the evolution of the centre. It has taught me a lot about how to be with someone's distress, not in the manner of fixer or nurse but as a fellow human being.

When the centre closes it will be a huge loss. The people of Leeds have had access to a dedicated, responsive, high-quality service, which has been something of a given over the last 20 years.

In the coming months, when the Government's austerity measures start to bed in, there will be even more of a need for this service. The scale of the austerity cuts are short-sighted. Creating more people in need with no means of support services to assist their increased vulnerability is a financial "no brainer".

The Crisis Centre did save the Government money by supporting people towards more positive coping mechanisms to help them through their crises.

In my experience of working with people, the service helped prevent substance misuse, family breakdown, offending behaviour, the incidence of self-harm and suicide, admissions to psychiatric units and prolonged sick leave absence to name just a few.

The consequences of these social problems all have a cost: to the Government, to our local communities, to our families and friends and to ourselves. It does not make sense to close this service.

The Government needs to look to help mend what is promising to be our broken society through these hard times or there will be no "society" left to have a "big" concept about.

Helyn Aris, RMN RGN

No right to vote

According to the so-called governments of Europe, including England, 60,000 thugs who are in prison will be given the right to vote.

In order to enjoy human rights, one must honour one's obligation to live peacefully with one's neighbours.

These thugs have already destroyed their human rights by being guilty of seriously offending innocent people.

All members of all European governments therefore also do not have human rights because they seriously offend our intellectual basis of the right to govern.

O P Nugent, Yeadon

'Faulty' Link

MY apologies to Margaret Walker, apparently out at the Snaith area near Goole, who have Care Ring. It is named Care Link in the Castleford area and a charge is made for it on weekly rent.

In the past I experienced it – a waste of time – often response very slow or faulty.

I now keep a mobile in my pocket to contact police etc if necessary, who respond immediately and are a very good team.

It is disturbing that police have been earmarked for Cameron's cuts and 41 magistrates' courts are to be closed, forcing overcrowding at courts left to deal with the business of those to be closed. Also, the costs of enforced commuting is ridiculous and the Cameron idea to sell off the magistrates' courts historic buildings, such as Pontefract, is disgusting.

M Meadows, Castleford

Get writing

I HAVE been reading and enjoying the Yorkshire Evening Post for more years than I care to remember.

I have even been known to submit the odd missive for the Letters to the Editor page.

One thing I can't help but notice is the gender inbalance, in terms of your letters page correspondents. Tonight (January 8) for example, almost certainly, all the contributions are from males.

Women make up about half of the population and therefore, if they are not already doing so, I would urge them to put pen to paper and write to the YEP. It would be really nice to have a more balanced perspective, in terms of what interests and concerns women in the YEP area of circulation. Come on, ladies... let's give the likes of DS Boyes, Malcolm Naylor, Eric Firth and AG Goldsbrough and, of course, M Nicholson, a run for their money.

Cherril Cliff, Armley

Roundhay query

WHEN I was a boy in Leeds in the 1940's we used to sledge in Roundhay Park. A recent visit confirmed that youngsters still do.

I would like to know if the hill is still known as "Hill 60", which I believe was the name of a battleground in the First World War.

John Andrews, Chatsworth Road, St Annes on Sea

YEP Letters: July 21