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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Boss behind new Barrow mental health facility speaks out to address residents’ fears

A BOSS behind a new Barrow mental health facility has spoken out to address residents’ fears.

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(l-r) Support workers David Knowles, Jennifer Laverty, Laura Storey, Scott McCoy and clinical nurse manager Amanda Shepherd. LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50059165B009

He has been backed by Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock, who said anyone could end up suffering and need the help of the facility.

He added that it was important to support Glengarth House and help work towards lifting the stigma surrounding mental illness.

The former Glen Garth Hotel, in Abbey Road, Barrow, was officially opened yesterday as a 14-bed residential unit for men with mental health needs and is run by Northern Health Care. It offers assisted living and support to its clients.

Last year plans for the facility were met with concerns from nearby residents.

Clinical director at the company, Joe Preshur said they had decided on Barrow as the first base for their new facility because of the high standard of the accommodation.

He said all the residents were voluntary and would be given intensive, long-term rehabilitation and support.

Mr Preshur added that those staying there would have a long-term diagnosis for disorders such as bipolar, depression and schizophrenia.

Responding to residents’ fears, he said they would be having an open day very soon.

He said: “The people who will be living here are people from the local area who are responsible for their own actions. There are rules against anti-social behaviour and there will not be any people who are a significant risk to themselves or others. We will also have high staffing levels.

“We are sympathetic and understand there are fears and we hope we can work with the community to allay any fears.”

Mr Woodcock said: “I have learnt a lot more about mental health than I ever thought I was capable of in the last couple of months after sharing about my depression in my blog.

“I understand residents’ concerns and in some respects I share them but it is important to show our support for this facility. People using it have put their hands up and asked for help.

“We need to see this facility as a normal part of people getting better.

“One in four people will develop a mental health condition but not one in four seek help.

“The stigma around mental health is changing and the more we can talk about it the better it will become. We must treat each other with respect and tolerance.

“The more we can do to normalise the conditions the better it will become.”

Have your say

I had the privilege of being Invited to have a look around Glengarth Hotel last Friday, & I must say it is such a leap forward for enabling people to be rehabilitated after Illness? I only wish there had been such a facility when I was in transition after coming out of Hospital a long while ago, the opportunity of finding a Hostel that will help People feel safe & in a caring environment will help the recovery & the Service Users no end ? I hope those that take the trouble to follow this story & maybe concerned about how the Hostel May effect there locality, will in time learn that there is nothing to worry them what so ever & I urge the good people of the area who are given the chance to go & Visit the Hostel, Please go & have a look for yourselves, there really is nothing to be concerned about, Mental health Issues can effect every one us one way or another at sometime in our lifes, Please dont let fear colour your views, take the opportunity to take part in a wonderful development!

Posted by Stephen Turner on 11 February 2014 at 19:45

What concerns?
People with mental health problems are not criminals.
I find this story quite disturbing, given that young men in Barrow take their own lives for want of somewhere like this to be healed

Posted by William on 9 February 2014 at 16:44

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