Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Mental health care in Alderney 'is being addressed'

The first steps have been taken to improve mental health care provision in Alderney, a States member has said.

The comments come after criticism of the lack of mental health expertise. At the moment those who want counselling or treatment must fly to Guernsey.

Liz Bennett said the issue did have to be addressed and more services would be made available.

A sufferer estimated there could up to a 100 people who could benefit from a psychiatric nurse being in the island.

'Stability they need'

Claire Cotton, who has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and self harms, said: "It would be so amazing if someone, just once a week, could come here and could just see the people that go to Guernsey.

"It would give people with mental health issues the stability they need, to know that someone is coming here."

She said the stigma attached to mental health was an issue: "They don't want to go to Guernsey... and have all their mates know, if someone came here they could go speak to someone."

Ms Bennett said: "There will be a community nurse coming over on a regular basis very soon.

"Obviously she can't be all the specialists that exist in Guernsey but what she can do is assess people and support them to the point where they feel they can go to Guernsey and get that specialist care."

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