Failure over mental health in Alderney 'will kill'

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Any failure to improve mental health services in Alderney could lead to the loss of life, one States member has claimed.

During Wednesday's Alderney States meeting Bill Walden said: "People will die in this island because of the services that are provided."

The comments came as Alderney States voted to approve new mental health laws, which were last updated in 1939.

Mr Walden said the proposals would not address all the current "inadequacies".

He said: "As a service user, I welcome this project. However, it does not address the inadequacies in the services, especially here in Alderney."

States member Colin Williams said "services are virtually non-existent" and that it was "disgraceful" that it had taken eight years for this Bailiwick wide law to be enacted.

The States of Guernsey agreed to update its laws, which also cover Alderney, Sark and Herm, in November 2002, but it took until July 2010 for the legislation to be drafted and put to the vote.

Richard Willmott, an Alderney States member who is also a part of Guernsey's Health and Social Services Department board, commended Bill Walden for his courage in speaking out about his experiences.

Mr Willmott added: "The points are well understood and urgent action is being taken."

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