We Can All Help Make A Change for Mental Health this Christmas
Updated: Dec 11, 2018
This time of year isn’t all twinkling lights, mistletoe and holly for everyone. For those experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety, the last thing on their mind is festive cheer and feeling jolly.
Some are overwhelmed with a sense of foreboding. Christmas may be the worst season, the one they fear the most. It can amplify feelings of hopelessness, separation and loneliness. Many will manage to smile through their pain in the company of others, not reaching out, or letting anyone imagine their struggle. “Yes I’m fine.” you’ll hear them say aka F-eelings I-nnermost N-ot E-xpressed. “Of course! yes everything’s great!" they'll lie. "All’s tickety-boo, fine and dandy.”
At the other end of the spectrum are those who’ve finally had enough. Leaving this life behind and ending it as soon as possible is a recurring theme. For them it seems the obvious way out as they see no other alternative. It is estimated in 2018 that 1 in 4 of us battle some form of depression in this country. It’s indiscriminate, affects all ages, colours, creeds and orientation. To put that into perspective, the number of people in the UK experiencing anxiety and depression is close to the total population of Israel and Papua New Guinea put together. More than 16.5 million of us, here on this small island, need compassion, kindness and support with this issue.
We can all make a different as we go about our own busy lives. We can take more notice than usual of any changes in behaviour of family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, others in our local community. Do they seem lethargic or fatigued? Do they seem less interested in personal care or their usual grooming routine? Are they avoiding certain situations, parties or other gatherings? Are they quieter than usual or not sleeping well? Can you feel, see or otherwise sense that some light has faded from their eyes? Are they showing any signs at all that all is not well in their world?
Let’s take the traditional ‘goodwill for all men’ season as an opportunity to commit random acts of kindness. Offer a hand, a shoulder, an ear, a wave, a chat and a cup of tea to someone if you can. Copy and paste, share, make available the support and contact info below and any others you know about in your local area. Let’s do whatever we can, in any small way, to be there for someone showing signs of imbalance with their mental health in the form of depression. Tomorrow, next week, next year, who knows – that someone needing help could be ourselves.
“1 in 4 of us here in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and depression is one of the most common.
It affects an estimated 350 million people worldwide, and the World Health Organisation predicts that by 2030 more people will be affected by depression than by any other health problem.”
Source: ‘How can I spot the signs of depression’ BBC article from ‘Trust me I’m a doctor’ programme
Time to change - Your attitude to mental health matters
YOUNG PEOPLE'S HELP LINES AND RESOURCES
Young Minds Crisis Messenger
Provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisisIf you need urgent help text YM to 85258 All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisorsTexts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.
If you're in distress and need support, you can ring Samaritans for free at any time of the day or night.Freephone (UK and Republic of Ireland): 116 123 (24 hours) Email: email@example.com
Papyrus (Prevention of Young Suicide)
Confidential advice and support for young people who feel suicidal
HOPE Line UK: 0800 068 41 41 Text: 07786 209 697 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
Offers support to young men in the UK who are down or in a crisis
Helpline: 0800 58 58 58 (Daily 17:00-midnight) Webchat
If you're under 19 you can confidentially call, email, or chat online about any problem big or small Freephone 24h helpline: 0800 1111 Sign up for a childline account on the website to be able to message a counsellor anytime without using your email address Chat 1:1 with an online advisor
If you're under 25 you can talk to The Mix for free on the phone, by email or on their webchat. You can also use their phone counselling service, or get more information on support services you might need. Freephone: 0808 808 4994 (13:00-23:00 daily)
ADULTS HELP LINES AND RESOURCES
lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).
0300 123 3393 email@example.com Text: 86463
Mental Health Foundation 020 7803 1101 Improving the lives of those with mental health problems or learning difficulties.
Together 020 7780 7300 Supports people through mental health services.
The Centre for Mental Health 020 7827 8300 Working to improve the quality of life for people with mental health problems.
Depression Alliance 0845 123 2320 Provides information and support to those who are affected by depression via publications, supporter services and a network of self-help groups.
BACP Find a Therapist Directory 01455 883300 Through the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) you can find out more about counselling services in your area.
PANDAS Foundation 0843 28 98 401 (every day from 9am-8pm) PANDAS Foundation vision is to support every individual with pre (antenatal), postnatal depression or postnatal psychosis in England, Wales and Scotland. We campaign to raise awareness and remove the stigma. We provide our PANDAS Help Line, Support Groups offer online advice to all and much more.
call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 055 6112.
Open 8am to 7pm, every day of the year.
Join in the mindful mayhem and keep up to date with special offers and news via my
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In Love, Light and Healing
Dip Hyp, MPLTA, Ad Col, Reiki
SSHH – Stacie's Spiritual & Holistic Healing
All views and information contained in our blog are the personal opinions of Stacie Frost and her guest authors. While being experienced and qualified in a wide range of holistic healing modalities, they are not qualified doctors and do not diagnose any health condition. Any form of complementary therapy should not be considered as an alternative to professional medical advice.