This week I met with Gloucestershire Counselling Service (GCS), one of the charities offering vital mental health support here.

GCS explained it is facing rising demand and, like other mental health charities, GCS is now picking up the pieces where public services are failing.

Most referrals to GCS come from GPs who recognise the value of counselling, yet GCS, like other charities working in this area, does not receive NHS funding.

It relies on fundraising and people in need paying for its services

Yet the sad irony is that those people who need support most are often the least able to pay.

Indeed, GCS has said it has seen a rise in demand for counselling following the introduction of Universal Credit and the financial hardship and stress this has inflicted on so many people.

GCS is also filling the gaps in other ways, such as meeting the rising need for counsellors by providing training.

It is now working in partnership with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust to train people in Gloucestershire to work with children, young people and families.

It is just one of many excellent organisations working to support people in crisis.

Indeed, I also recently met with Teens in Crisis and, as a trustee of Listening Post, I hear first-hand how their work makes a difference to people’s lives.

These charities are now at the frontline of our mental health crisis, exacerbated by the destruction of Children’s Centres, the impact of austerity and the depletion NHS mental health provision.

It is a tragedy that we are reliant on charities to pick up the pieces, especially as early and properly funded intervention can make a huge difference to people in desperate circumstances.