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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.

North Cotswolds, Cirencester and Tewkesbury community hospitals each received a visit from a ‘very special guest’ in the run-up to Christmas.

Twelve-year-old alpaca, Cosmo, dressed in his favourite Christmas outfit, popped in to cheer up the patients, put a smile on the faces of the staff and generally spread a little festive cheer.

Cosmo was brought in to the hospitals by his owner and trainer, Ginnie Meakin, from Cotswold Vale Alpacas, near Evesham, because of his “innate ability to cheer people up and make them smile”.

“It’s a well-known fact that animals are great therapy; relieving stress and giving people the feel-good factor. Cosmo brightens people’s days,” said Ginnie.

“I do think he likes all the attention – he certainly appears to pose for the cameras. He’s an unusual alpaca – he’s calm and quietly confident.

“Right from an early stage I realised he was special and had a kind and gentle nature. He doesn’t get worried or spook easily, which makes him perfect for interacting with members of the public.”

On each hospital visit Cosmo appeared in his element as he strutted around the wards, greeting patients and staff.

A patient at Tewkesbury Hospital, Rose Miller, said: “He’s out of this world – he’s beautiful and gorgeous. I would love to put my arms around him and give him a cuddle.”

Squeals of excitement followed Cosmo during his visits. He has been trained from an early age to be walked and handled. He is also very adept at using a lift and is even able to alert his handler when he needs to go to the toilet.

Linda Edwards, Matron at Cirencester Hospital, said: “I have never had such a wonderful afternoon in the whole of my career. The patients and staff absolutely loved Cosmo and the reaction, particularly from patients with dementia and EOL, was so heart-warming and brought tears to my eyes – and Cosmo was so well behaved.”

“We have received many visits to our smallholding, from people who are finding life a strain emotionally, people suffering with stress and depression, and adults and children who have learning difficulties,” said Ginnie.

“We have found that meeting and being with the alpacas is so therapeutic; particularly to our visitors who have autism. They generally arrive apprehensive, but soon start to relax and interact with the alpacas.

“It is amazing to see the smiles on people’s faces when they meet Cosmo – especially the elderly people who are in hospital and missing their own pets. 

Pictured: Cirencester Hospital Matron Linda Edwards with Cosmo the alpaca.

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