Help in a crisis and visiting information during the COVID-19 pandemic

During this COVID-19 pandemic there may be changes in the way some of our services work. Contact the service directly to check how services are being delivered and follow their advice.

Some of our services now offer video consultations. You should speak to your clinician if this is something you would like them to consider. You can find out more about video consultation here.



Contact the ward you wish to visit in advance for guidance and instructions for a safe visit. 

If you need help in a mental health crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic outside office hours please contact our crisis team: Help in a crisis

For other medical advice and support contact your GP or visit NHS 111

Only visit your local Emergency Department for serious life-threatening conditions that need immediate medical attention including persistent severe chest pain, loss of consciousness, acute confused state, severe breathlessness, severe blood loss, serious burns or suspected stroke.

Signs and symbols

What are signs and symbols?

  • A sign is an action or a gesture that you make with your hands, body and face as you speak. This picture shows you how to sign listen.

Sign language for listen

  • A symbol is a picture that you use to help communicate. This is the makaton symbol for listening Makaton for listen
  • Signs and symbols do not replace talking – they are always used at the same time as you talk.


Why do we use signs and symbols?

  • Signs and symbols help children’s attention and listening skills
  • They help children to understand and learn new words and concepts.
  • They help children to get their message across.
  • They help children’s independence.


How do signs and symbols help?

  • They are visual, so help children who like to learn visually.
  • They last longer than spoken words, to give children more time to process and understand what has been said.
  • They draw attention to important key words they hear.
  • Adults slow down their talking when they use them, so children have more time to process and understand what has been said.
  • Using them with all children means all children and adults understand and use them so they can talk and communicate together.

You can find more information on signs and symbols on the Makaton website.




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