Service Users Forum: Help shape our services by joining our service user forum and let us know how we can improve - Find out more

Service User Involvement
Urgent help Donate

Proposed Hampshire County Council budget cuts will have a detrimental impact on the mental health of Hampshire residents

The proposed £132 million budget cuts by Hampshire County Council will have the greatest impact on residents with poor mental health. At the same time, Hampshire County Council are cutting the services to support residents with their mental health. Of particular concern is the loss of £656,000 in funding to Hampshire services delivered at Wellbeing Centres across the county. This move will force the three local Minds in Hampshire to review its one-to-one support services, potentially impacting those in need of mental health assistance at a time when the need for support is rising. The cuts to these services will also put more pressure on GPs and the NHS as waiting lists are growing.

Hampshire County Council's own equality impact assessments, in relation to these £132 million budget cuts, have highlighted that residents with mental health conditions will bear the brunt of the negative consequences. Hampshire County Council has a legal duty to not disadvantage residents with poor mental health, under the Public Sector Equality Duty of the Equality Act 2010. The proposed cuts also seem at odds with Hampshire County Council’s own estimate that one in four adults will experience poor mental health as cited in their latest Mental Health and Wellbeing index.

Despite acknowledging the disproportionate impact on this vulnerable group in their assessment, the Council is currently proceeding with the cuts without a robust review of the critical one-to-one services, which are essential for the mental health of the community.

The local Minds that cover the Hampshire region, Andover Mind, Havant and East Hants Mind and Solent Mind, all have a mission to fight for better mental health in Hampshire and are actively standing up for the residents of Hampshire threatened by these cuts.

The three Minds believe that Hampshire County Council should undertake a deeper review to better understand the impact of any reducing the budget before any final decisions are made to take into account the nuances of their services.

John Wilderspin, the chair of trustees for Solent Mind, on behalf of the local Minds, expressed deep concern about the ramifications of these cuts on the mental health of residents. He said: "The decision to reduce funding for our Hampshire Mental Health services is worrying. Every year, we help thousands of residents across Hampshire with a range of complex mental health needs; our one-to-one service is key to understand individual challenges and enables us to provide the best service for each individual's needs. If the cuts went ahead, we would need to take difficult decisions between reducing our one-to-one sessions, which are fundamental to accessing our group sessions for some of our service users, or reducing the amount of people that we can help. We work with individuals to de-escalate emotional crises and empower them to develop skills to manage future mental health issues. Our community relies on these services, and the Council's own assessments confirm that residents with mental health conditions will suffer the most.”

In light of these developments, the three local Minds urge Hampshire County Council to reconsider these drastic cuts to services and the Wellbeing Centres and explore alternative solutions that prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of residents. They are calling for transparent communication, collaboration, and a commitment to finding sustainable solutions that protect essential services for vulnerable residents.

The collective Minds are encouraging Hampshire residents to join the fight for better mental health, by writing to their local MPs to oppose proposed cuts to our wellbeing services.

Contact us:

For interviews, more information or any press enquiries please contact your nearest local Mind who
will represent the collaborative local Minds in Hampshire.
Andover Mind – enquiries@andovermind.org.uk
Havant and East Hants Mind – community@easthantsmind.org
Solent Mind – communications@solentmind.org.uk

About Local Minds in Hampshire

Each charity offers a range of mental health and wellbeing services in the community including crisis support and safe havens. Visit their websites to find out more:

Back to all news Become a member