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York Mind charity cycle ride marks World Mental Health Day
OPEN discussion about mental health in York is vital and needs to continue, a charity has said.
York Mind yesterday held a sponsored static cycle ride and bucket collection in Parliament Street to mark World Mental Health Day.
Sponsored volunteers rode the 82 miles from York to Hull and back to raise hundreds of pounds for the mental health charity, which said it was keen to make more of the annual event to raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing.
Holly Pollard, a community fundraiser for York Mind, said: “We wanted to do something accessible and achievable for anybody of any cycling ability.”
Mental health has been in the spotlight in North Yorkshire since it was revealed huge backlogs in waiting lists in York and Selby mean hundreds of people with severe problems are waiting more than a year for counselling.
Mental health provision was also questioned after it was confirmed St Andrews’ counselling and psychotherapy unit in Huntington Road – which has seven psychotherapists and psychologists working with or due to work with 179 people – will close under plans to save £140,000.
Instead, the trust plans to distribute psychological therapy staff across local teams in York and North Yorkshire.
Peter Gorbert, operations manager at York Mind, said recent discussion with Leeds and York NHS Foundation Trust over the plans had been helpful and had shown some positives including the ways it intends to help people with personality disorders.
Mr Gorbert said: “In York a lot of things have been highlighted and that discussion is key to mental health. There have been a lot of conversations going on in the city and the fact those conversations are being had – and in a public arena – is definitely a good thing.”
In York, 323 people in need of high-intensity counselling for conditions including severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder are on a 14-month waiting list.
A further 207 suffering from conditions including mild and moderate depression and anxiety are on a four-month waiting list for low-intensity counselling.
Last month David Smith, the former chief executive of the charity York Mind, said: “It’s an absolutely shocking situation for us to be in in the 21st century.
“It’s a scandal, it’s not just a local scandal but a national one. These people are critically unwell. People will die while they are on that list.”
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