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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?


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.


Call free on 0800 11 11
If you are a child or a young person you may want to speak to Childline.


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.


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.

Advice and Activities

From the Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Team

Speech Sounds

General information

Children go through stages when they learn new skills. For example, before they learn to walk they learn to sit, crawl and cruise holding on to furniture. Children go through stages when they are learning to talk as well. For example, before they learn to use clear speech they learn to listen, understand and then use words and sentences.

Similarly, children go through stages with developing speech sounds and this is a gradual process. Each child is different but most children follow a similar pattern. The first sounds that children learn are sounds that are easy to make e.g. ‘b’ is made by putting the lips together. Later on in development, they learn to say sounds that are harder to make e.g. ‘f’ is made by putting the top teeth and bottom lip together with just the right amount of pressure for the air to flow through. Later on still, children learn to put two sounds together in blends e.g. ‘Grandma’. Children develop skills at different rates with talking just as they do with walking. Please read the information sheet ‘When Children Learn Sounds’ for more information.


Dummies can help very young babies, especially those that are born prematurely, to establish good sucking patterns and they can help babies settle to sleep but their usefulness declines after about six months. Using dummies may reduce babbling and restricts tongue movements, affecting how the child makes some speech sounds. It can also impact on the formation of their teeth and is sometimes linked with middle ear infections. It is recommended that dummies are not used after 12 months, especially when the child is awake and active.

Tongue Ties

The tongue is loosely attached to the floor of the mouth by a piece of skin. When a baby is tongue tied, this piece of skin is unusually short and tight which affects the movement of the tongue. Tongue ties affect a small number of new-born babies and may affect their feeding; if so, the tongue tie can be cut.

Tongue ties are often thought to cause speech errors however children tend not to need speech and language therapy for their tongue tie. Having a tongue tie only affects the ability to make sounds where the tongue tip is lifted, such as ‘n’, ‘t’, ‘d’, ‘s’, ‘l’. The tongue tip is not used in many sounds, such as ‘m’, ‘p’, ‘b’, ‘k’, ‘g’, ‘f’, so these will not be affected by the tongue tie. When children have a tongue tie they learn to adapt and use a different part of their tongue to make tongue tip sounds.

Links with Literacy

Many people think that if a child has trouble saying speech sounds this will affect their ability to read and write and with some children this is the case. However, with the majority of children, their speech is in fact helped by learning to read and write.

In their Reception Year, children practise letters and sounds every day and learning to listen to sounds in words often helps their speech sounds to develop. Children’s reading and writing skills are assessed and supported in school by school staff.


The British Stammering Association has a wide range of resources available.