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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 and need support, please call us using one of the following numbers:

  • Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm, please contact the team or service who currently provide your care.
  • Monday to Friday, 5pm – 9am and 24 hours on weekends and bank holidays, please call our Mental Health Matters Helpline on: 0800 015 7271

These contact numbers are for people already in contact with our services. If you are not currently in contact with us, please call 111 or your GP.

Our out of hours, weekend and bank holiday service is provided by Mental Health Matters.

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
Or text 07537 410 022
A safe, supportive, non-judgmental and informative service for people who self harm, their friends, families and carers.
Opem every day 5pm – 10pm for phone and text support.

My role as a Speech and Language Therapist within the Community Learning Disability Team involves me seeing people with swallowing and or communication difficulties. Swallowing difficulties are also known as dysphagia.  Typically someone will be referred for a dysphagia assessment if they have been coughing or choking when eating or drinking; have had recent chest infections; have experienced unexplained weight loss or shown a reduced appetite. Sometimes people will choose to refuse food and fluid intake if they are finding swallowing difficult or painful.

When I go to assess someone, I will often see them eating their lunch and having a drink. This can feel a bit strange, however it is the best way for us to see what might help to reduce the difficulties that they are experiencing and to advise on how best to prepare their food and or fluids to make their swallowing more comfortable, and ultimately to increase their safety when eating and/or drinking. I will also ask the person and their carer a few questions about what difficulties they have been experiencing to try to help identify what may be going wrong and how best to manage it.

Sometimes it is a case of slowing down when eating and making sure that the person is having regular sips of fluid to help their food go down. In other cases, we may suggest that food is cut up in to smaller pieces and given with additional moisture, for example with extra gravy or sauce. It may even be that having food mashed or pureed may help to increase swallow safety and reduce the difficulties experienced. In terms of fluid intake, we may recommend using thickener in fluids which will slow down the swallow process and reduce or stop any coughing or choking.

Lucy is a speech and language therapist with the Community Learning Disability Team.
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