Charlie Elphicke seemed very empathetic and sympathetic when it came to Mental Health. He seemed to have knowledge and aware of what is happening country wide, especially closures of mental health hospitals and cutbacks in general.
When asked about the number of suicides that occurred in Dover he was not impressed as Dover is a suicide black spot and thinks the situation is unacceptable and should give us a reason to worry. His answer to my question seemed dismissive and I thought not very sympathetic.
He said “Dover” is a port with cliffs and this attracts people to come who want to end their lives. In the bigger picture I think this is very worrying and sad that in 2012/2013 over 26 people committed suicide in Dover. There are many reasons for this but I think the fact that mental health services are being reduced and the number of beds available do not help the situation.
The visit went really well. We had a brilliant turn out of service users who came along and had their say and their questions answered. Charlie Elphicke is very keen to work with us in future. He has offered to come back and talk at another forum. A few members asked if it was possible to visit him at parliament, and he said he would welcome anyone that wished to attend. We look forward to working closely with Charlie Elphicke in the future and would like to thank him for taking his time to attend the forum.