THE outgoing chairman of a self-harm awareness charity has criticised politicians and medical authorities for ‘failing’ people with mental health issues.
Rod White of SAFA Cumbria, whose main office is in Barrow, said it had been an honour to serve as chair for six years but now was the time to raise issues ‘loudly and publicly’.
He said mental health services were underfunded and called for more engagement from NHS chiefs.
Mr White said: “I am very angry at the lip service paid, by politicians, with the exception of Tim Farron, and NHS leaders, to the demands and needs of self-harmers.
“The local mental health services are understaffed and offer an inadequate service to those in desperate need.
“People in mental health crisis need prompt treatment, not to be put on a waiting list for months.
“How many more tragic deaths will happen before the NHS accepts that charities like SAFA can help given adequate funding and resources?
Mr White’s comments came as new figures revealed more than 2,000 children in south Cumbria and Lancashire had not had contact with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) after being referred.
In response, Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) said: “We recognise that there have been long wait times for patients seeking CAMHS support across Lancaster and South Cumbria, and are committed to getting this right. We are working with our partners across the health and care system to develop a CAMHS service that is responsive and sustainable, which will offer standardised care and support for young people and their families, designed around the THRIVE model of care.”
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