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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. 

PLEASE NOTE: 9/1/20 12:30pm – We are currently experiencing issues with accessing answerphone messages. We will update when the issue has been resolved.

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.
Open every day 5pm – 10pm for phone and text support.

selfharm

Text 85258
Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.

Expert by Experience, Ed Boait, has turned published author with the release of his first book – an autobiography documenting the first four years of his journey through mental illness.

Schizophrenics Dream in Colour: Volume One is 37-year-old Ed’s personal account of the beginning of his 19-year struggle with mental ill health.

His journey began when he was aged 18 and studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Sheffield.

Ed, who has bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia, and suffers with depression and anxiety, says: “I started to feel quite isolated and alone in Sheffield, as well as very low and lost.

“I sank into a deep depression when I realised I was doing a degree I didn’t want to do – which would have led to a job I didn’t want to do for the rest of my life.”

Ed has a dual diagnosis; a term used to describe co-existing mental health and alcohol and drug misuse problems.

“I dropped out of university and started smoking weed all day, every day, which stabilised my mood,” he says.

“Then I went to Edinburgh to study Physics and Philosophy, and met all these great people. I started taking Ecstasy and began to feel really good about life.

“It all got out of hand quite quickly, however, and I became quite manic and less able to organise my life. I’d be going shopping at 3am and walking the streets of Edinburgh in the middle of the night.

“When I was 20 my mum bought me a book on philosophy and instantly I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do, I want to write philosophy’. I became obsessed. Wanting to be this world-famous philosopher made studying a bit tricky. I didn’t even finish the first year of my degree as I was in hospital by the February. Despite trying a few times I have not managed to finish a degree course.”

In 2004, at the age of 22, Ed was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia; a condition with which grandiose delusions are frequently found.

“I developed delusions of grandeur and felt I was surrounded by invisible people who I was struggling to live with,” he says.

“Over the years I’ve been in and out of hospital and I just thought it was a conspiracy – that everyone I knew was working against me and trying to make my life worse. There was a lot of paranoia.

“I’ve experienced moments of wild anger and aggression, but then there’s the other side; the isolation, depression and confusion.

“The first four years were possibly the hardest part of my journey through mental illness. They were quite combative between myself and my family; there were a lot of arguments. It was hard for them to understand and it was hard for me to have insight into how I was hurting them and the things I was doing wrong, and what these beliefs really meant. I was so fixed on being this great philosopher that I just didn’t see anything else.

“I wrote Schizophrenics Dream in Colour in 2013, so it’s been sitting on my computer for a long time,” he continues.

“I feel it is an incredibly detailed and honest account of those first four years. I hope this book will open people’s eyes to the trauma and severe difficulties of living with the illness.”

Ed has already written Volume 2 in what he envisages may eventually turn into a trilogy.

“In 2015 I made a big decision to do my best to stay well and stop the cycle of illness and recovery and to really focus on a long-term recovery strategy. There’s quite a lot about that in Volume 2, which I hope will come across.

“There will possibly be a Volume 3 about my years of recovery. It’s been five years since I was in Wotton Lawn Hospital as a patient, and that’s just a minor miracle to me. So I’ve got plenty to write about.

“It didn’t always seem possible, but now I’m living a good life with schizophrenia.”

Ed’s book, Schizophrenics Dream in Colour: Volume One is available to buy on Amazon.

Picture caption: Ed with a copy of his book, Schizophrenics Dream in Colour: Volume One

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