Leeds mental health crisis centre is facing closure

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A crisis centre for people with mental health problems in Leeds is facing closure under a proposed reorganisation of council services.

The Headingley-based centre opened in 1989 and provides a short-term counselling service.

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It is among a range of mental health services – including three day centres, a community team, three hostels and community enterprise-type schemes – on which the council spends 2.8m a year.

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Services provided by the crisis centre are also provided by the NHS and council bosses say that is just one example of duplication in the system.

A council statement said: "In the current tough financial climate, it is difficult to justify continuing to run the crisis centre when significant provision from the NHS and the voluntary sector exists in the city."

Also proposed is a complete rethink of council-provided mental health day services which would leave just one day centre operating from Lovell Park, a community team and a social enterprise programme.

People using the services will be individually assessed to put together a programme of appropriate activities to meet their needs.

The third phase of the modernisation programme would create a new system of mental health day services, in partnership with NHS Leeds, using a competitive tendering exercise which the council says would produce savings and provide a better service.

The council's Executive Board will discuss the proposals tomorrow. Options for the hostels will be discussed next year.

Coun Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member for adult social care, said: "It is evident that there is a lot of duplication within mental health care services in the city, and we need to address this to make sure that people's needs are being met effectively.

"Adult social care budgets are tighter than ever and we strongly believe that we can develop a high quality, efficient service for the future.

"This modernisation will bring mental health care services in the city into the 21st century."

HELPING HAND: Ben Wilson, MD at MPM, with Victoria Hopkins, MD at Hopkins Catering. PIC: Tony Johnson

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