Cllr Gerry Carroll has condemned plans to close Whiterock Mental Health and Well Being Centre as “disgraceful”. Plans are afoot from the Health Trust to close Mental Health Day Centres across Belfast, including Whiterock Mental Health and Wellbeing Centre, in Whiterock.
“The closure of this facility would be a disaster for the people of West Belfast, particularly those who suffer mental health problems”, said Cllr Carroll.
“West Belfast already has the second highest suicide rate for any area in the North. Studies show that more than two thirds of people who commit suicide suffer some form of mental illness; so why are we getting rid of services which are in place to help people? It’s an absolute disgrace.”
“Instead of cutting these services, we should be investing in them. Doing so would help alleviate the growing problem of mental ill health, and suicide in our communities.”
“Often the incredible work by staff at the centre goes unnoticed, but this is a vital resource; one which improves the quality of people’s lives, and helps them cope with mental illness. Those who rely on the service have told me of how devastated they’d be if it was forced to close its doors, of how they’d struggle to adapt to the change of routine, and would fear for their mental wellbeing as a result.”
“It is deeply worrying that this vital resource is faced with closure. If Stormont can afford to waste hundreds of millions giving free handouts to big companies through reduced corporation tax, they can to afford to keep services like this running. It is a matter of priorities.”
“Over the coming weeks we will be stepping up the fight to keep Whiterock Mental Health and Wellbeing Centre’s doors open. Trade Unions are kick starting the New Year with a protest this Thursday, at 10am, outside the Belfast Health Trust Headquarters, in Belfast City Hospital. Get along to the protest on Thursday. Let’s send a clear message that these services must remain in West Belfast, and across the city.”