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A sudden illness, injury, or death of a relative can be emotionally and physically draining.

The Trauma After-Care Trust (TACT) holds lists of professional carers that specialise in helping people who have been through a traumatic event. To find a specialist in your area, you or your GP can telephone TACT on 01242 890306 or write to; Buttfields, The Farthings, Withington, Glos. GL54 4DF. Care can be free if your GP refers you.


If you need someone to talk to straight away, you can call The Samaritans on 0345 909090. The Samaritans is a counselling line open 24 hours a day for anyone in need. It is manned by trained volunteers who will listen sympathetically.

You may wish to contact a local organisation which can offer support. Ask the nursing staff, social worker or Chaplain for information.


British Heart Foundation (BHF), 14 Fitzhardinge Street, London W1H 4DH. Tel: 020 7935 0185. Website: www.bhf.org.uk. Contact them for details of a range of leaflets, booklets and videos. The BHF has a network of support groups for patients and families affected by heart problems.


British Lung Foundation, 78 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8LD. Write to them for information on their Breath Easy support groups which are for anyone with lung problems.


Chest, Heart and Stoke Association (Scotland) 65 North Castle Street, Edinburgh. Tel: 0131-225 6963. Advice Line: 0845 077 6000 (Mon-Fri 9.30-12.30 and 1.30-4.00). Trained nurses offer confidential information and advice.


The Stroke Association, Central Advisory Service, Stroke House, Whitecross Street, London EC1Y 8JJ. Tel: 020 7566 0330 (Mon-Fri 10.00-4.00). Website: www.stroke.org.uk. Provides support and information on the publications and community services available to individuals and families affected by a stroke.


If your relative has died

TACT can help people who have suffered a traumatic bereavement. TACT on 01242 890306 or write to; Buttfields, The Farthings, Withington, Glos. GL54 4DF. Care can be free if your GP refers you.


Cruse is a national charity offering free support to anyone who has been bereaved. Cruse volunteers, who live locally and are trained, can visit you in your home or talk to you over the phone. To find out the name and number of your nearest Cruse branch, look in your phone book or telephone Cruse Bereavement Care on 020 8940 4818 or write to Cruse at 126 Sheen Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1UR.


The Compassionate Friends is a self-help group run by parents who have lost a child. They can be contacted at 53 North Street, Bristol BS3 1EN. Tel: 0117 953 9639.


BrakeCare is a division of Brake, an independent road safety organisation. There are other booklets which provide information for people bereaved and affected by road death and injury. These include: 'Coping with grief when someone you love is killed on the road' and 'Procedures following a death on the road in England and Wales. For free copies, telephone BrakeCare on 01306 741113 or you can write to Brake, PO Box 272, Dorking, RH4 4FR. Website: www.brake.org.uk.


The National Association of Bereavement Services can tell you if there is an organisation which suits your needs. Telephone the helpline on 020 7247 1080 or write to 20 Norton Folgate, London E1 6DB.


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