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From: The Socialist issue 655, 26 January 2011: Workers and students unite!

Search site for keywords: Mental health - Health - Cuts - Sheffield - Grant - Psychiatric

Stop the mental health service cuts

The funding of Mental Health Action Group Sheffield (MHAGS) is in jeopardy. We get our core grant from Sheffield city council, which plans to reduce the service down to one day a week.

MHAGS aims to provide an alternative to hospital psychiatric wards for people suffering mental health problems, and also to give these vulnerable people somewhere to socialise. Our group is user-run by the members and through an elected committee.

We feel the grant cut is unacceptable as this would have a serious impact on our members' wellbeing, resulting in many returning to psychiatric wards costing tax payers more money.

Now new information states we will have to bid to obtain a contract for our core grant. This presents a major obstacle as we will be competing with national charitable organisations.

We provide a meeting place in comfortable surroundings and several activities for our members. These include computing, arts, craft, photography, exercise and other pastimes. Day trips are often arranged. We have a fully functional kitchen and provide meals on a daily basis. These are all possible through our fundraising efforts.

Before Nick Clegg became deputy leader of the Con-Dem government, he made a pledge at the University of Sheffield to support mental health across the country. This demonstrates another u-turn by Clegg.

We would welcome help with highlighting this before Sheffield council. It's now imperative that we demonstrate solidarity in all struggles in unions and the voluntary sector.

Stephanie Milnes, MHAGS chairperson, and Tim Jones, campaign coordinator

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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Article dated 26 January 2011

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