Category Archives: News

Should more funding be made available for research and treatment of mental health issues?

Press clipping

Press clipping

MUCH more funding should be available for the treatment of mental health, not research. We know what the problems are, and what helps IF it is available, how many health service cuts there’ve been and how harsh austerity policies push more people to the edge.

Caseloads are so high and staffing levels so low that people who have attempted suicide are falling through the gaps, as the report by CQC on Kent and Medway NHS Trust said last year.

Kent police have had an 18% cut in funding, but have to step in for public safety reasons when those who need to be admitted for care are turned away, and nationally it’s the same.

Our young people are driven to the edge. A recent BMJ article mentions a 68% increase in hospital self- harm presentations in 13-16 year olds between 2011 and 2014.

CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) are under-resourced. NHS England admits that only one in four under-18s with a diagnosable mental health problem receives treatment.

If a Dover youngster does get a bed it is miles away at Ticehurst. This, in the sixth richest country in the world?

Ah, but we’ve the greatest level of inequality in Europe. Our NHS money must not slip into the shareholder pockets of Circle/Virgin Healthcare through NHS privatisation.

The dominant model of psychiatry is driven by pharmaceutical companies. Acute conditions are treated by hospitalisation, top-down diagnoses by psychiatrists, then some pretty heavy-duty medications.

Chronic conditions, treated in the community, are also heavily dependent on drug therapy, because cheaper than other, more effective therapies.

In contrast, the Green Party believe that the best mental health care is informed by the experiences of mental health service-users themselves.

Evidence shows that more equal societies have lower levels of ill health.

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Green party campaigners protest to save trees at Aldi site in Deal

East Kent Mercury press clipping May 2018

East Kent Mercury press clipping May 2018

Environmentalists held a small demonstration in the car park on the proposed new Aldi store in a bid to save nine mature trees.

The German chain plans to remove the features to make way for its brand new 1,254 sqm supermarket and 128 space car park on the current Co-op site in Park Street, Deal.

In a stand against this, members of Deal and Dover Green Party held a “love-in” where they tied messages to the trees and handed out leaflets to shoppers.

Green Party parliamentary candidate for the area, Beccy Sawbridge, said: “It’s not about not wanting the supermarket there but making sure these trees aren’t unnecessarily taken away.

“Trees do so much for us to protect our increasingly fragile eco system.

“Given that these mature trees already have Tree Preservation Order’s on them, people were astonished and rather angry that Aldi seemed to feel justified in chopping them down.

“It’s important to remember we share this earth.”

The activists argue that the mature trees currently in existence – one oak, two lime, two beech and six sycamore – are not only loved for their visual amenity but because they all also help clean the air, contribute to people’s health, help save energy and benefit wildlife.

They feel in the rush for development, Deal would lose some of its character.

An Aldi spokesperson said: “We agree that trees have many benefits for an area, and where possible we will maintain existing trees and plant new trees within our proposed development in Deal.

“As part of the planning application submission we will provide an assessment of the existing trees on site. Whilst nine trees are proposed to be removed to allow the Aldi development to come forward, Aldi will be replacing these with 13 mature specimens throughout the site, w’hich will be supported by the required infrastructure to allow them to grow successfully within the car park and ensure their longevity.

“Overall, the additional trees and landscaping proposed, in addition to the introduction of a modem and highly sustainable Aldi building, will regenerate the site and enhance the local Conservation Area setting. We are delighted that an overwhelming number of local people have already shown their support for the proposals and can’t wait for Aldi to open.”

Aldi will submit a planning application to Dover District Council this month. If it is granted the store will open during 2019.