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New Hope for mental health centre in Twinbrook

By Rebecca Black

Published 02/10/2015

Belfast City Council has thrown its weight behind a community mental health centre which is under threat of closure.

Supporters of Hope Beacon Day Support Centre in Twinbrook, affectionately known as Hope House, addressed the council last night asking for their support.

A former client, 'John', told the council that without the centre he would not be standing there.

At one stage he did not leave his house for eight years, until he discovered the Hope Centre.

"If you had asked me 20 years ago, 10 years ago, even five years ago, would I be here, I'd have said no," he told the council.

"I couldn't have done any of this without the Hope Centre."

Sinn Fein councillor Stephen Magennis said the centre's workers went above and beyond in supporting its clients.

He said it is so successful because it is local, and people can go to it and feel comfortable there within their community.

Mr Magennis said other small local centres could be next.

PUP councillor John Kyle also expressed his support, saying that mental health had been underfunded for decades.

"To support this is exactly what we should be doing," he said.

The council is to write to the health minister in support of the centre.

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