A petition to help save a mental health centre in Harrow described as a 'lifeline' for many has seen huge support from locals.
The Don't Close the Bridge, petition aims to save The Bridge, a mental health centre that has been running for over 20 years and currently has around 200 clients.
Launched by the Harrow Council Conservatives , the petition reads: “We, the undersigned, hereby petition Harrow Council and ask that the decision to close The Bridge should be reconsidered as the impact of the closure on service users, their carers, families and the wider community has not been thought through.”
The petition has already seen over 800 signatures in just under a week, with locals sharing their support for the mental health centre.
Councillor Susan Hall , who started the petition on Thursday (February 4) after being told of the closure, spoke to getwestlondon .
The councillor for Hatch End said: “I said of course I can help, mental health provision is something we should all be concerned about.
“The Bridge is a fantastic venue for people with various different mental health illnesses and I think it's vital that as a community it is kept open.
“I don't think we do enough for people with mental illness and the fact that The Bridge is looking to close is nothing short of a damn disgrace.
“It is a vital lifeline to so many vulnerable people in Harrow.”
Cllr Susan Hall claims that the closure of the mental health centre will have a knock on effect on local hospitals.
'The glue that keeps the communities together'
David Phelops, who runs a choir at the centre, initially approached Susan Hall to bring the closure to the attention of locals.
He said: “The Bridge is 20 to 25 years old and is a purpose-built mental health centre, built to help people recover from mental illness.
“People there get one to one treatment and help, a hub that is the glue that keeps the communities together.
"If it closed, extra pressure would be put on the NHS .
“The Bridge is a bridge between the so-called mentally ill community and the wider community”
The petition has already seen 800 signatures and is fast approaching the 1,000 signature goal.
Harrow Council hosted a consultation on Thursday (February 11) at Harrow Civic Centre in relation to the closure, with locals voicing their views.
Councillor Anne Whitehead, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Older People, told getwestlondon :
“Whatever happens at the Bridge in the future, we are completely committed to continuing to support families and protect the vulnerable.
"Despite £83 million of government cuts which are forcing us to make proposals like this, we are determined to achieve more with less in the future.
"That’s why we want to hear from every single person who uses the Bridge in our consultation as we plan the future of our services.”
To sign the petition, and pledge your support, visit the change.org website .