North East Wales

Spending cuts will lead to more suicides, group claims

Kelly Boylin
Image caption Kelly Boylin says the effects of the cuts can already be felt

The founder of a mental health campaign group claims that vulnerable people are killing themselves due to cuts in public services.

Kelly Boylin, from Flint, says people are waiting too long for support.

The group, Kim's Voice, was set up in memory of Ms Boylin's sister who committed suicide four years ago.

A spokesman for the Welsh government said early intervention is key in providing metal health treatment, and steps had been taken to improve this.

Ms Boylin said the group was trying to let people know how cuts in public spending could affect people who needed help for mental health issues, but their concerns seemed to be falling on deaf ears.

She claimed her sister killed herself after two years on a waiting list, and another friend took her own life earlier this year while waiting for treatment.

"No matter how much we speak up at the moment... no matter how much we're saying that the cuts are going to have a detrimental effect on people's lives, whether they're going to stay alive or not... nobody's really listening to that," she said.

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Media captionKelly Boylin talks to Rhian Price about her support group

"It's already starting to cause suicides in this country - the cutbacks - and I don't think people are recognising that yet.

"The pressures on staff and the need for government to make cuts was understandable, but it is having a detrimental effect on people's lives," she added.

"People are taking their lives as a result of these cuts and it can't keep happening."

Ms Boylin gave her warning on Wednesday to mark on International Mental Health Day.

A Welsh government spokesperson said that action was being taken to boost early intervention, which was key in providing mental health treatment.

"The Welsh government has taken steps to improve this...this includes enabling services in GP surgeries to become more responsive.

"The Welsh government has also required all local health boards to introduce crisis resolution and home treatment services whose role is to provide a rapid response to people experiencing a crisis in their mental health," the spokesperson added.

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