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Help in a crisis

 

If there is an immediate danger to life, please dial 999 or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.

I am in Gloucestershire

If you or someone you know needs help in a mental health crisis, call our crisis teams.

Call 0800 169 0398.

And choose one of the following options depending on your location:

  • Option 1 for Stroud and Cotswolds
  • Option 2 for Gloucester and Forest
  • Option 3 for Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and North Cotswolds

Please note: telephone calls may be recorded. If you do not want that to happen, please tell the person who answers your call and they will phone you back on a ‘non-recordable’ telephone.

The number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Occasionally, callers may be asked to leave their name and number on an answerphone. In these circumstances, staff will return the call within one hour.

I am in Herefordshire

If you are in Herefordshire, please call: 01432 364046

The number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you need help but are not in crisis, please contact your GP if in opening hours, or 111. If you don’t have a GP use the NHS service search to locate the nearest one to you. If your query is not urgent, you can find our contact details here.

Are you feeling vulnerable? Do you need to talk to somebody now?

samaritans

Call free on 116 123
If you are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide, you can call the Samaritans.

Stay Alive App

A pocket suicide prevention resource for the UK, packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide. The app can be accessed through the Apple Store, Google Play and downloaded as a pdf.

childline

Call free on 0800 11 11
If you are a child or a young person you may want to speak to Childline.

selfharm

Call 0808 816 0606
A safe, supportive, non-judgmental and informative service for people who self harm, their friends, families and carers.

People with poor mental health are at greater risk of experiencing the three main factors which can lead to homelessness: poverty, isolation and vulnerability.

In turn, being homeless can cause a decline in mental health and lead to anxiety, fear, depression, sleeplessness and substance misuse.

This is why ²gether is working in partnership with other organisations to improve the lives of homeless people in Gloucester.  The life expectancy of a street homeless person is just 42 years, compared with 74 for men and 79 for women in the general population. Andy Telford, ²gether’s Community Services Manager for the West Locality & Vocational Services, said: “The effect of being homeless on mental health and wellbeing is a big issue. We have homeless people in the community who are not engaged with our services, and some of them are clearly mentally unwell.  We’re trying to help them have access to what they need to support their mental health and overall wellbeing.”

At the George Whitefield Centre run by Gloucester City Mission, agencies including ²gether, Gloucestershire Care Services (GCS) NHS Trust, Change Grow Live and P3 are working together to provide ‘hub style’ care for rough sleepers.  Dave Kinghorn manages the centre in Great Western Road where homeless people can register and access GP clinics four days per week. Nurses are there five days a week to wash wounds and change bandages and clients can have a shower, a change of clothes, a hot meal and a clean sleeping bag.  A Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) visits weekly, as well as a podiatrist once a fortnight.

Gayle Clay, Team Manager with Gloucestershire Care Service NHS Trust’s Homeless Healthcare Team, has 22 years’ service with the NHS. She said: “We’re seeing a very high level of anxiety here, much higher than in general practice.

“This also impacts on nursing time. There’s a lot of listening ear – 98% of people here have experienced early years abuse. They have feelings of hopelessness and rock bottom self-esteem. Things we take for granted like a family network, they don’t have.”

Joanne, 49, who visits the centre, has a dependent personality disorder and is homeless.

She said: “I find coming here helpful because I need support but I can’t stay here forever, I need supported lodgings.  I was working at the job centre for 31 years but I had a breakdown.”

Rob Phillips, Joanne’s CPN, said: “Joanne had a husband, two kids, a job, money, a house and a car. She was offered redundancy and she took it but she lost her routine. She was a functional person then her dad died of cancer. Her marriage broke down. She didn’t have a mental health problem until the age of 46.

“Homelessness impacts on someone’s mental health and their physical health is affected, which then impacts on their mental health”, added Rob.

“Having no base and nowhere to go during the day is not going to be good for anyone’s mental health”.

Some of the other support provided at the centre involves building skills including:

  • Cookery and healthy eating courses
  • Help with maintaining accommodation
  • Access to drug and alcohol workers
  • Assessments
  • A recovery group
  • Narcotics Anonymous runs once a week on a Saturday

Andy added: “If someone has a complex need they may not engage.  It’s about creating opportunities and signposting people to services which meet those needs.  We can’t eradicate homelessness but we can make the engagement process much slicker.”

 

 

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