Vital funding is soon to be withdrawn from a charity offering people with mental health difficulties help and support with their illnesses.

The Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust have made the decision to stop funding for a support scheme at Northwick Park Hospital that enables people who are unable to access Citizens advice Harrow (CAH) directly due to their state or treatment they are receiving to still receive the benefits of the service such as advice on matters including housing.

 

This comes after the advice service running since 2010 extended its open hours and introduced new contact methods in order to appeal to as many people as possible, such as providing general information to all residents in the borough via phone lines open until 7 PM on Mondays and Thursdays, walk-in service for face-to-face sessions open from 9:46AM to 12:30PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as a web chat service that enables people to put forward queries and problems via an online messaging platform.

 

The service handled nearly 13,000 issues last year. People who use the service are helped to manage their finances if they have been out of work or have a mental health issue by offering advice and information on a range of subjects including; housing, employment, money matters and health and well-being as well as putting people in touch with various other organisations such as Catalyst Housing Association and solicitors who offer pro bono services.

The funding is set to expire for the service in April with many spokespersons for the charity advising against the decision to cut the funding

However, a spokesperson for the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust “Citizen’s Advice was never commissioned by the NHS, but we always managed to find the £35,000 or so through slippages in other areas. That’s no longer possible so we had to give them three months’ notice. They are an excellent organisation, but on the wards, it will now be our Discharge Coordinators who will provide this support. We are sorry, but this is the position we are in.”

Visit www.citizensadviceharrow.org.uk, email advice@citizensadviceharrow.org.uk or call 020 8427 9477 for more information.

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