We understand that the festive season isn't always merry and bright for some people. Whether it's the financial strain that comes with gift buying, the cold, dark winter nights, or the reality of spending Christmas alone, there can be a number of triggers for mental health problems during the holiday season. So if you’re struggling, here are some ways for you to stay connected, as well as a list of support lines you can call that may be of help to you or someone you are thinking of.
Arrange a call or video call with friends, family or colleagues.
Share your experiences on social media, blogs or on an online community like Mind’s Side by Side.
Connect with nature by taking a walk outdoors – it has proven wellbeing benefits and can be an opportunity to explore new places.
Join In! Those who have a Twitter account can join Sarah Millican's annual #JoinIn campaign, where they can connect and chat with others on Christmas Day.
Volunteer. Why not lend a hand to a local shelter over Christmas? There are lots of charities who need help. You'll connect with people and feel good about making a positive contribution.
Re-connect with old friends by sending season’s greetings or arranging a video call.
Set up a new WhatsApp group with friends or colleagues to stay connected over the holiday season.
Face loneliness together with The Great Winter Get Together launched by The Jo Cox Commission, which has five great ways people can connect this winter.
Reflect on the year gone by through journaling and take a moment to connect with your own experiences.
Reach out for support if you’re struggling. We’ve gathered some useful resources and support lines which you can contact over Christmas and New Year.
Loneliness is normal and it can be incredibly challenging, especially at this time of the year. If you know anyone who is experiencing loneliness or is struggling in any way, a text or call might make all the difference.
We hope you find this useful and would like to wish everyone a safe, enjoyable Christmas season.
Useful resources and support lines open over Christmas and New Year 2022 - 2023
When it’s not a 999 emergency but you have an urgent concern the NHS 111 service who can help you access specialist mental health support. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. Online support is also available.
If you are at immediate risk or harm, phone 999 and ask for an ambulance.
Emotional support for everyone in need of someone to talk to, including those who are feeling suicidal. National Helpline: 116 123 (free to call) You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org Phonelines are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year (including Christmas Day and New Year)
The UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you are struggling to cope and you need immediate help. Open: 24 hours a day every day (including Christmas) Text ‘shout’ to 85258. Visit their website: www.giveusashout.org
This app is a pocket suicide prevention resource for the UK, packed full of useful information to help you stay safe. If you’re struggling with your mental health and thinking about hurting yourself, download the free Stay Alive app. It has ideas and advice to help you stay safe. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.
They won’t tell you what you should do, they won’t make decisions for you, their advice and opinions are not important for the call
In this useful blog, mental health charity, Mind, explains what mental wellbeing means and has provided some useful tips to help take care of your mental wellbeing:https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/wellbeing/wellbeing/
Domestic Abuse Help
Other useful resources
Mindfulness exercises are free from sitting meditations to written, reflective free mindfulness exercises. ttps://mindfulnessexercises.com/free-online-mindfulness-courses/
Calm is a meditation, sleep and relaxation app, available in both the App Store and Google Play store. Calm’s goal is to help you improve your health and happiness. Try this useful meditation exercise: https://www.calm.com/blog/take-a-deep-breath