A MENTAL health organisation will close its Capalaba premises next month and is at risk of drastically reducing its services due to funding cuts.
Bayside Initiatives Group Inc. - Queensland's first entirely peer-operated mental health service - has lost more than $100,000 per year in funding, impacting their ability to continue to help up to 1000 people a year.
The organisation may get a lifeline from the Redland City Council which is set to decide on Wednesday whether to lease a building at Winter Memorial Park, Capalaba.
BIG co-ordinator Samuel Walker said the use of the community building would reduce pressure on the organisation but additional fundraising was still required.
Run entirely by volunteers and staff with a lived experience of mental ill health, BIG - which has operated in the Redlands for nearly two decades - provides a drop-in service for people struggling with their mental health.
The organisation provides one-on-one and group peer support, workshops, meetings and other support programs, but these are set to be scaled back in the near future due to funding cuts.
"We're experiencing a time of consolidation and it's looking like it will mean a reduction of service," Mr Walker said.
"The next few years will see significant cuts to a lot of smaller community mental health services, which is unfortunate because these services are very grassroots and are very connected to the communities they operate in."
Mr Walker said BIG was appealing for support via a fundraising campaign so the organisation could continue to operate as many services and programs as possible.
"For a lot of people struggling with mental health, they don't know where to turn and they just want to be part of a community," he said.
"Being connected to others and having authentic, genuine relations can't be measured or undervalued. It has a huge impact on mental health."
Mr Walker said BIG's work kept people out of hospital, reducing the burden on the public system.
"Without these services we are looking at a lot of people becoming unwell, we're looking at the potential of lives being lost," he said.
"If we raise $100,000 it will fill the funding gap and help BIG to keep providing our desperately needed services in the Redlands."
While BIG will close the doors for the last time at their Veronica Street premises on June 18, volunteers and staff hope council will vote in their favour on Wednesday.
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