Letter: Peter Smith December 15, 2017

Phoning for advice
Phoning for advice
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Norfolk County Council is in the process of trying to find ways to hide the reality of the catastrophic cuts resulting from the equally catastrophic central government cuts to local government funding.

The new buzzword to disguise cuts is “remodelling”. In fact, they are busy creating a whole new language to disguise the reality of cuts. A good example is the renaming of their Crisis Team as the Home Resolution Team. It is in reality a helpline for those suffering a mental health crisis, but the help provided is to tell the caller to call the emergency services, and that is usually the stretched to breaking point thin blue line of our excellent police service, which itself is about to be cut, or remodelled.

Helplines have their place. The Samaritans and other helplines for people in crisis are indeed often lifesavers. But they are not a substitute for trained helpers. With Norfolk County Council they are a cheap option, as we can see with their helpline as a solution to the evidence of rising suicide rates in the county. The answer is a massively increased number of specialist mental health professionals with safe places for those suffering crises to go to. Cuts kill.There are often no beds in the UK, never mind in desperately under-resourced Norfolk which, having been cut to the bone, now has a skeleton staff struggling to provide even the most minimal of services.

Meanwhile, so many very vulnerable people, and their families when they have them, feel totally abandoned, and in most cases they are right. If your family or friends haven’t yet been affected by such crises then you are indeed fortunate.