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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.

Difficulties with swallowing will often have a big impact on the amount and type of foods which a person is able to manage. This can place people at higher risk of not eating enough to meet their needs, or ‘malnutrition’.

It is not difficult to see why mealtimes for someone with dysphagia might become a struggle. Previous episodes of choking or food sticking in the throat might make someone feel anxious or fearful of eating in the future. People might feel embarrassed or isolated that they are needing to eat something different from their friends or family. The range of foods available are fewer and they might become bored with this. They might miss previously enjoyed favourite foods. They might be frustrated by the slower pace which they need to adopt to ensure they swallow properly, and that this can make mealtimes lengthy. They might find the appearance of texture-modified foods off-putting, or find negative comments about the food by those serving the meal unhelpful.

It can be a challenge ensuring that texture-modified meals provide all of the nutrients that people need, are interesting, varied, tasty and look appealing. Fibre levels of texture-modified meals can be lower, and this can increase the risk of constipation, which does nothing for someone’s appetite! Where food is being pureed, care should be taken not to over-boil vegetables before pureeing, as this will lead to a further loss of key nutrients in the final meal. Where liquids are added to a puree to achieve the correct consistency, these should be high calorie options such as double cream, mayonnaise, vegetable oil, tomato, white or cheese sauces, greek yogurt or crème-fraiche.

Remember to keep separate foods and flavours apart so that you can present these separately on the plate. Food colourings can be used to improve the look of some foods where they lack natural colour. Foods such as beetroot, blackcurrants or blackberries, cherries, spinach, tomato purée, mango and sweet potato are great for adding more colour to a meal. And if mealtimes are lengthy then ensure food is kept warm, and that any crust or skin that might form on the food is removed before eating.

Because eating with dysphagia can be more challenging we should make sure we monitor somebody’s food and fluid intake carefully in the initial weeks following a diagnosis to ensure they are still getting everything they need. This is particularly important if the person has been advised to change the texture of their foods or fluids. If you are unsure, or you have noticed that the person you support is losing weight, then raise the concern with a healthcare professional for more advice.

Carly is a specialist dietitian for 2gether.
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