Penumbra Youth Project, which has run successfully since 2003 and is delivered in every secondary school in Fife, is a key service that provides mental health and wellbeing support to young people throughout the Kingdom. On a weekly basis, every Fife school has had the support of a Penumbra worker who has provided one-to-one couching, group work, drop-in sessions and awareness raising activities. It has been described as “well used and empowering” by a local high school head teacher in Glenrothes.
However, this drastic cut, which is a result of the 2015/16 Fife Council budget, has left Penumbra with no choice but to close the service as of March 2016.
I am appalled that this decision has been taken without any consultation with Penumbra, and that no explanation has been offered to the charity as to how or why this decision was reached.
It is astonishing that the Labour-run Fife Council has such obvious disregard for the contribution made by Penumbra in Fife. This is at a time when there is increased awareness in mental health, concerted efforts from charities and the Scottish Government to remove any societal stigmas, and when the Scottish Government has just, last month, announced a further £54.1 million to improve access to mental health services, bringing the additional spending to £150 million. Labour’s decision to force the closure of this essential service is the exact opposite of what should be done to promote positive mental health for our children.
Please sign the petition to Leader of the Labour-run Fife Council, Cllr David Ross, asking for this decision to be reversed: https://www.change.org/p/fife-council-scottish-parliament-support-children-and-young-people-s-mental-health-in-fife-penumbra-youth-project-fife