Mark H. Durkan calls for sustainable funding as Extern signals Derry Community Crisis Intervention Centre at risk of imminent closure

Mark H. Durkan has called for long-term investment for the Community Crisis Intervention Service (CCIS) in Derry which is facing imminent closure.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 12:15 pm
Foyle SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan.

Mr. Durkan argued the service is needed now more than ever in a post-Covid landscape. The SDLP social justice spokesperson was speaking after Danny McQuillan, the interim C.E.O. at Extern, the body which runs the service, wrote to him explaining the service will be discontinued next month if new funding is not forthcoming.

Mr. McQuillan, in a letter that has been seen by the ‘Journal, stated: “Following a tendering process in 2018, Extern has delivered this service within the Derry & Strabane District Council area, and in that time has supported many local people to manage suicidal crisis and engage in safety planning to maintain better mental health and well-being.

 “Unfortunately, despite the support of a number of stakeholders across a broad spectrum, we will be unable to offer this service after June 15. Funding for the service is now at an end and sustainable, long term investment is not available. We gratefully acknowledge the support and guidance offered by the project steering group throughout the lifetime of the service.”

Mr. Durkan said: “The CCIS in Derry has once more found themselves in the position where the funding clock has run out of time and they are forced to present the begging bowl. It is ludicrous that just days ago members stood in the Assembly for Mental Health Awareness Week, reiterating their importance of such support services and their commitment to improving them. Yet 72 hours later, we have a Crisis Intervention service in an area of greatest need forced to close because long term funding cannot be secured.”