Help us oppose mental health cuts in Oxfordshire of £1.6million by lobbying your County Councillor

Oxfordshire County Council is offering the opportunity to give your feedback on proposed mental health budget cuts following an open letter from the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership, of which we are a member.

The letter, signed by all members of the partnership, is in response to Oxfordshire County Council’s proposal to cut mental health funding by £1.6 million by 2022. This would reduce the Council’s share of funding for mental health services in Oxfordshire over the next 3 years for people with serious mental illness.

Here at Connection Support, we’re concerned that these cuts would be the breaking point for many struggling with mental ill health in our county. These proposed cuts would not directly impact ourselves until 2020 but it is obviously a decision that we and our partners in the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership cannot agree with.

Along with our five partners in the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership and eight other organisations, Connection Support has written to Oxfordshire County Council’s elected members with concerns. You can read the letter here.

The plans are currently in draft form, and the County Council is consulting on these proposals. Now’s the time to express your views on these proposed cuts. We would like your support! 

How to show your support

What else can you do?

Whilst the deadline for the formal consultation is 6th January, but the Council meeting at which the proposal will be voted on is not until 14th February, so there will still be opportunities up until that date to influence the decisions of the County Councillors.

Further details are available at: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/budget

What points might you want to make in your email or letter?

We know that short, personal comments will be listened to more than something mass-produced. If you are able to email your comments, here are some key points which may help you compile your response:

  • Oxfordshire needs more funding for mental health, not less.
  • A £1.6m reduction over 3 years will mean a significant reduction to services for the residents of Oxfordshire.
  • The Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership helps 5,000 people each year.
  • Services will have to be cut, and this will have a significant impact in terms of residents wellbeing, homelessness, family breakdown, and increased healthcare costs.
  • The Council should consider making cuts in other areas, not in Mental Health.
  • If you as a client, or a loved one, can give examples of how you’ve personally benefited from the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership and Connection Support that would be a very powerful message.

Don’t forget! The deadline for the formal consultation is 6th January, but the Council meeting at which the proposal will be voted on is not until 14th February, so there will still be opportunities up until that date to influence the decisions of the County Councillors.

Background to the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership

The Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership (OMHP) is the coming together of six specialist mental health organisations, which includes Restore, Oxfordshire Mind, Response, Connection Support, Elmore Community Services and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.   The OMHP is dedicated to creating positive changes and initiatives that directly improve the lives of people living with mental health challenges.  Together, the organisations that make up the OMHP covers a wide range of interventions from the care of adults who are acutely unwell to services that get people back into employment, education, stable accommodation and relationships.  Effective recovery is a holistic approach that includes support, in-patient care, appropriate housing, community services, better physical health, social opportunities and much more.  OMHP provides a complete recovery package to support someone on their journey. You can read the open letter here.