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Hundreds sign petition against mental health ward closure

Tim Farron collects signatures in Kendal. Credit: Tim Farron.

More than 1,500 people have signed a petition against the closure of a mental health ward in Kendal.

The Kentmere Unit at the Westmorland General Hospital is to be closed from the end of June because a Care Quality Commission report found it didn't meet safety standards.

Local MP Tim Farron has set up a petition against the closure of the ward, and it was signed by more than 1,500 local people in the first week.

He says the CQC report did not call for the ward to be closed, and is urging Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to reconsider the closure.

The response to the petition shows that there is overwhelming public backing for the ward, and I will continue to fight against the closure.

The CQC’s report highlighted a number of issues about the physical environment at the ward, but it stopped a long way short of calling for the ward to close. Although certain improvements must be made, these services must not be taken away from South Lakeland.

– Tim Farron MP

Mental health stigma 'still a long way to go'

A woman who runs a mental health charity in Dumfries says there's still a long way to go when it comes to mental health stigma.

Linda McLachlan is the founder of Soul Soup, which is an organisation helping young people to deal emotional and psychological issues.

She say's that people are becoming more aware of mental health issues but that there's a lot of work to be done, particularly with school-aged children.

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Calls for more mental health services in D&G

Calls are being made for more mental health services for young people in Dumfries and Galloway, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Chloe Kacedan, from Lochmaben, has had mental health problems for the past few years and hopes to help young people struggling to cope.

The 26-year-old released a video two years ago to try and reduce mental health stigma, and the video went viral with more than 2,500,000 hits.

She'd now like to see more drop-in centres in rural places like Dumfriesshire.

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