Published: June 1, 2011
Fears raised over closure threat to Burnham mental health centre

Concerns about the future of a closure-threatened community mental health centre in Burnham-On-Sea have been raised this week.

Belmont House, based in Burnham's Technical Street, provides adult mental health assessment and treatment through individual and group therapy.

Several users from the Burnham-based Windows Carers Group - which provides support to carers of people suffering with mental health difficulties - met a group of town councillors and the town's Mayor at Burnham Area Youth Centre, as pictured below, to air their concerns about the likely closure of Belmont House this summer due to cash cuts.

Colin Nash from Belmont House was among those who attended to discuss the potential changes to the mental health support services in Burnham and the planned closure of Belmont House.

"Many serious concerns were expressed as Mr Nash was unable to definitely confirm exactly where service users would be able to see their phychiatrist and care co-ordinators as many venues are still under discussion such as Highbridge Medical Centre, Burnham Medical Centre, Burnham Hospital and the Mulberry Centre, however, these discussions are being finalised," Pauline Wellman, Group Co-ordinator at Windows Carers Group, told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

"The view of the majority of those in attendance at the meeting was that there were real concerns regarding the changes and the closure of many support groups which are essential to the recovery of patients with mental health problems."

"Mr Nash has kindly agreed to come back to visit the group when definite decisions have been made."

The Windows Carers Group will be contacting NHS Somerset Partnership regarding their concerns.

Also in attendance were town councillors Alan Miller, Kate Lawson and Helen Groves plus carers and service users.

Pictured: Belmont House and (centre) Burnham's Mayor and Mayoress, Michael and Maria Clarke, with Pauline Wellman from The Windows Carers Group and Colin Nash from Belmont House at the meeting



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