December 20 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Fears have been raised at the provision of mental health services in Wymondham after a counselling service closed its doors.
Christian Care and Counselling (4c) was based at the town’s Baptist Church for 16 years until November, and saw patients who were referred by their GP.
The centre, which still has offices in Norwich, Dereham and Lowestoft, only asked people to pay what they could afford and its loss has caused some concern. One former patient, who asked only to be referred to as Caroline, was referred to the service for bereavement counselling.
She said other counselling services in Wymondham were too expensive for some people and had a long waiting list.
“I feel it’s such an important service, particularly at this time of year, and I don’t know what I would have done if I couldn’t go there,” she added. “When a person decides to go for counselling it’s because they’re desperate – it’s not a decision that’s taken lightly and now people don’t have that.
“There’s nothing else like it around and this isn’t the time to be losing that sort of service.”
A former 4c counsellor in Wymondham, who asked to remain anonymous, said there had been a disagreement with the church which had led to its closure.
“I can’t emphasise enough what an important service we offered,” she said. “It was a cheap service because we charged what the person could afford and we were all qualified and experienced and worked very hard.
“The sad thing is, where are these people going and where are the GPs referring to now? I’m very upset about it and if we had somewhere to go with a couple of rooms, one which was lockable for our files, we would work from there, but obviously we would need to rely on somebody’s good nature because it would need to be free for a while because there’s no funding at the moment.”
Nobody from the church was available for comment.