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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.

Immediately following the birth of my first child, I suffered with severe anxiety and OCD. It was like a veil coming down as soon as I delivered him, feeling no emotion when he was put in my arms, just a numbness.

The early days felt like permanent jet lag and with breastfeeding issues which only exasperated my obsessive nature and anxiety. I was exhausted and couldn’t even bring myself to hold, change or bath him.

The following weeks were so intense. The intrusive thoughts of harming my baby haunted me and I continued to see the world from behind my veil; I didn’t know what was happening to me and I just began to accept my new existence. My baby sensed my anxiety, I’m sure of it, he was more settled with others.

I somehow gained strength to resume daily routines but inside I was screaming for someone to save me. I did receive therapy from the Recovery Team after a referral from the Crisis team and GP but wasn’t I told it was the result of a Perinatal Mental Health illness, and it didn’t deal with delicate form of the grief I was feeling from losing those precious first few days, the overwhelming love of my child and losing myself.

It was only during my second pregnancy and with the support of a specialist perinatal mental health service that had just started up that I got told my symptoms fell under the umbrella term of postnatal depression and that I had experienced a complex and severe case of it. I remember bursting into tears. It was starting to make sense and it was starting to allow myself to let go of the guilt and the immense weight of the trauma I had experienced over the previous year and a half. I started seeing my wonderful specialist perinatal nurse and psychologist and the work we have done has really helped my recovery.

The months leading up to my delivery were challenging, I didn’t want to respond to people’s messages and I shut myself away, because how do you explain that you are not looking forward to what should be a magical and exciting time; I had to walk through the fire and I needed to stay as emotionally well and rested as I could.

Following the birth of my second baby, every milestone was extremely challenging to me as these were some of the experiences first time round that haunt me to this day. Luckily, over the next few weeks I did feel more myself and comfortable with my two children. However that then suddenly halted and an intense weight of numbness cascaded down on me, I felt the full pelt of depression. This lingered and I agreed to start medication due to an increase of suicidal thoughts. This was the start of a very different but difficult and dark time for me. The numbness continued to linger, I felt no emotion or warmth to anything, anyone, any beautiful sunny day, or the warm smiles of my children because the weight of the pain consumed me.

I did start a lovely course called Shine, an art therapy based 12 week course with other wonderful and inspiring women. Peer support really is the icing on the cake for any recovery journey. No judgment, kind words and a shoulder to cry on. I am certainly not the same person as before. I’m more fragile, maybe a little broken but the veil has lifted. As time has passed, my recovery is going well. Everything’s brighter and the everyday is more soothing, I’m inspired, I’m not ashamed and I’m certainly stronger.

I want to tell anyone who is going through their own journey that showing emotion, speaking and reaching out isn’t a weakness, it sign of true strength and courage and I still wouldn’t change my journey into Motherhood.

Find out more

If you are pregnant or have recently had a baby and are feeling low, speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP who will be able to help. Find out more about mental health in pregnancy and as a new mother here. 
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