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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.

As we age, the social and emotional benefits derived from cooking do not diminish. Yet for many people, the opportunity to be involved in preparing what they eat all but vanishes. Preparing what you eat can improve levels of wellness and positively affects a persons ability to chew and swallow food. It also impacts on quality of life, not just from a nutritional perspective, but also in terms of wellbeing and it is a great social opportunity for people.

In fulfilling our many daily tasks as carers, we inadvertently take away people’s independence, so getting them to do things for themselves helps restore that. It can also have a significant impact on improving a person’s appetite. All stages of meal/snack preparation will stimulate saliva production and activate the centres in the brain involved in swallowing.

With involvement in cooking and meal preparation producing such positive outcomes, every opportunity to encourage it should be seized. There are many ways people can get involved.

We should strive to do things ‘with’ and ‘for’ those we care for, not ‘to’ them, in every aspect of planning and preparing a meal, from creating a shopping list, selecting the produce off the shelves, to the final serving of the meal. This will often mean thinking creatively and it may not always be about preparing a main meal for the entire family or a large group, but may be providing the opportunity to cook morning tea or an afternoon snack, or preparing the vegetables – washing potatoes, peeling carrots or shelling peas – Focus on what they can do.

Suggested ideas for activities:

  • Put the tea pot, milk and sugar in the middle of the table. Sit with the person and encourage them to do things like pouring the tea for you both and join them for a chat whilst having tea and biscuits.
  • Try to avoid the smells of cooking being contained to the kitchens, even the smell of freshly baked food helps to stimulate a person’s ability to eat and drink.
  • Get people involved with food preparation – from washing the vegetables to stirring the custard – it is a great way to give someone a sense of purpose. It will not only help eating and drinking difficulties but also helps prevent boredom, offer social engagement opportunities and provide a sense of satisfaction.
  • Assist with serving meals, clearing up.
  • Helping to make cakes for afternoon tea.
  • Read a recipe card for the cook and give instructions on the preparation and each step of the cooking process.
  • Observe and monitor any baking, timing it, watching it and being aware of any smells – are they right or wrong? e.g. burning food.
  • Decide on cutlery needed and size and shape of crockery to suit the meal.
  • Lay the table.
  • Select accompaniments such as salt pepper, sauces that go with that meal.
  • Serving the meal.
Sue Jones is a speech and language therapist with the Older People Mental Health Team.
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