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Is Shropshire Facing a Mental Health Crisis?

Shropshire Providers Consortium’s Dragons’ Den events last week revealed some startling statistics for Shropshire.  SPC members – who all support the community in some way – told of the increasing number of people – particularly young people – who seek their help for a variety of reasons.


Wendy Condlyffe, Chief executive of IMPACT AAS, said the charity was originally formed to provide psycho-therapy to adults with addiction problems.  Between April and August this year, they have received 164 requests for help and 88 of these were from children under 16 years of age.  CaMHS only treats young people diagnosed with mental health issues.  Many children do not qualify and, even if they do – as Rachael Tyrrell of Oak County Financial Services pointed out – there is at least a six-month waiting list for an appointment.  Wendy said issues on the increase were things like eating disorders and self-harm rather than drug related.

Shropshire has the highest number of section 136 incidences in the country where the Police are empowered under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act to remove someone from a public place. Clive Ireland, Chairman of Shropshire MIND said:  “When the Police bring people to us they need sanctuary – not a cell – and that is what we provide – along with a taxi home.”  Shropshire MIND provides a drop-in service 7 days a week, any time, with no appointment for anyone with mental health issues.  According to a Guardian report last week Police say they are increasing being relied upon to provide emergency mental services following a 50% rise, over the last decade, in detentions under the Mental Health Act.

These were just two of the issues discussed at Dragons’ Den events in Bridgnorth and Telford last week.  Although the businesses that became ‘dragons’ for the evening found the statistics alarming, they were inspired by all of the community organisations and volunteer work and were delighted to discover that they could help in many ways – such as promoting awareness, strategy for the future and highlighting the issues.

Lindsay Barton of SPC said: “SPC wants to connect businesses for social good, providing a link between industry and voluntary and community enterprises in Shropshire. These events are enabling local businesses to support community organisations benefitting local communities and Shropshire as a whole.” There are 3 more Dragons’ Den events scheduled.  SPC is looking for one more business to join in the Oswestry event at the British Ironworks Centre and businesses in Whitchurch at the Beechtree Community Centre event.

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