I AM chair at Mental Health Action Group Sheffield (MHAGS), based on the second floor of Castle Market, Exchange Street, building. All our members suffer from different forms of mental illness. Our group is user-run by members, through a committee.
We provide a comfortable meeting place and several activities, including computing, arts, craft, photography, exercise and some day trips. We also provide meals on a daily basis. These are all possible from our fund raising.
Our main aim is to provide an alternative to hospital psychiatric wards and give these vulnerable people somewhere to socialise. Many members would feel uncomfortable socialising in public where they would be judged. A person with severe schizophrenia spends his/her life arguing with imaginary friends often using loud abusive language.
Funding from the city council is in jeopardy. Plans are to reduce our service to one day a week. We feel this is unacceptable. It would have a serious impact on members' wellbeing, resulting in many returning to psychiatric wards.
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