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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.

Home / Our teams and services / Health Visiting / Getting Ready For School

Getting ready for school

Useful information on making sure your child is ready for school.

‘Every child grows and learns in different ways, you are your child’s first teacher and at every step, you make a difference to their experience at school’

If your child is due to start school soon, you may have received this leaflet from Gloucestershire County Council. (PDF).

Starting school is an exciting time for parents/carers and children, and there are things you can do to help make sure your child gets the most out of the experience. The information on this page has been produced by your health visiting team to help you feel confident in supporting your preschool child to be ready for school.

Play and Development


Is your child toilet trained? Can they go to the toilet, wipe themselves, pull their clothes up/down and wash their hands by themselves?

Can they put their shoes and coat on, and take them off unassisted?

Without being given help by pointing or repeating, can they listen and follow three instructions? For example:

  • Clap your hands
  • Walk to the door
  • Sit down

Can they tell you at least four of the following?

  • Their first name
  • Their last name
  • Their age
  • Whether they are a boy or a girl
  • The town or city where they live

Can they tell you the names of two or more friends, not including siblings?

After exciting activities can they calm themselves down and be ready for the next activity?

Can they stay with a play activity for at least 10 minutes?

Do they go to bed at a regular time and sleep for at least 10 hours?

If you have answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, contact your health visiting team for advice and support. 

Toilet Training


Support with toilet training, information and resources are available from ERIC (The Children’s Bowel and Bladder Charity) to help your child have a healthy bladder and bowel to achieve continence.



You can also contact your health visiting team for further support, or drop in to your local baby hub. You can find all the details here.

Speech and Language


If you have any concerns about your child’s speech, drop in sessions are available across the country. Find out more on the children’s speech and language therapy page.

Further information on support with children’s speech and language development can be found here:

Hearing, Eyesight and Dental



If you are concerned about your child’s hearing, please contact your early years setting or health visitor for a referral.


Free eyesight examinations are available on the high street, or contact your health visitor.


All children should be registered with a dentist and having annual checkups. You can find a dentist here.

Mobility and Independence

If you are concerned about your child’s mobility, please contact a physiotherapist or occupational therapist for advice:



 Contact your health visiting team for advice on sleep. Contact details can be found here. 



Contact your health visiting team, or find information on parenting courses available on The Family Information Service.

Diet, weight and eating habits


Contact your health visiting team for advice. 

The following website provides useful information on diet/exercise and eating – www.nhs.uk/change4life/recipes