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  1. ITV Report

Fears as mental health charity is under threat of closure

1in4 People supports people with mental health issues but is under threat. Credit: ITV West Country

A volunteer at a mental health charity in Weston-super-Mare has told ITV News they're being forced to turn away people in crisis.

The '1in4 People' organisation is under threat of closure as funding from both the local council and NHS will stop at the end of June 2018.

One woman who was helped by the charity has said she's worried people will die without it.

Beth Knight says she doesn't know what would have happened to her without 1in4's support. Credit: ITV West Country

Without it I dread to think. I know that when I had no support it got to the stage where I had tried to take my own life three times in a year.

We've had people come in in a very desperate stage in their lives and we had to turn them away and it's upsetting for the people that work there and that volunteer there because they want to be able to help but there's physically nothing they can do. It's quite scary.

– Beth Knight, Volunteer
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The 1in4 People charity has been described by its clients as a "sanctuary". With sites in both Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon, it offers a wide range of mental health services including counselling, complementary therapies and activities such as art classes.

1in4 People offers a range of services, including art classes. Credit: ITV West Country

The charity's name comes from the statistic that one in four people will encounter mental health issues over their lifetime. In North Somerset that's a lot of people who will lose support if the charity closes.

North Somerset Council has said it is tendering for a new contract for mental health advocacy but 1in4 did not get through to the later stages of the process.

The local NHS says it will work with the charity to make sure its clients are looked after in the future.

We will work closely with 1in4 service users over the next three months and beyond to ensure that their needs continue to be met whilst we develop plans to deliver mental health services in North Somerset.

– North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group

It means that after nearly 40 years, the charity is likely to close this summer with an alternative mental health provision in place.

But staff and clients hope there will be some way of continuing. They are fighting to find other sources of funding.

Staff and volunteers are fighting to keep 1in4 going. Credit: ITV West Country