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Looking after your mental health this Christmas

by Laura Johnston

While for many people there’s lots to enjoy over the festive season, it is also a time of year that often puts extra pressure on us, and this can cause stress and affect our mental health.

The Mind mental health website has great tips for coping during Christmas, which includes information about self-care and the importance of looking after  your own wellbeing.

It also includes suggestions about supporting others at this time, highlighting how everyone has different experiences of Christmas.

The Mental Health Foundation has ten top tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing over the festive period.

Mind Plan for good mental health

The Every Mind Matters website also has a range of free self-care resources and support available to help you to look after your mental health, including the free Mind Plan.

Simply, answer 5 short questions to get a free personalised mental health action plan, with tips and advice to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

There’s also the option to join a 4-week email support programme where you can get reminders, receive new tips and are encouraged to make looking after your mental wellbeing part of your everyday routine.

Cllr Christine Bannon, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Health, said:

“The festive season, and Christmas in particular, can be a very difficult time. People may have lost a loved one and find this time of year especially hard, they may have a perception that everyone else is enjoying themselves, or they may already be struggling with their mental health due to cost of living worries or other concerns.

 

“If you know someone who may be feeling isolated or struggling emotionally at this time of year, please take time to reach out to them and offer your support.”

Crisis mental health support

If you or someone you know are in mental health crisis and no longer feel able to cope or be in control of your situation and need urgent help, you can call the NHS Mental Health crisis line. NHS staff will then support you to get the help you need. Available 24/7 for people of all ages. Call free phone 0800 051 1508.

Children and young people mental health crisis support. For young people aged up to the age of 18 experiencing emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties which are causing difficulties in their school, family or social life. Available 24/7 for young people registered with a GP in Knowsley, Halton, St Helens or Warrington. Call 01744 415 640.

Mental health and wellbeing support

Adults – support helplines and services

The agencies below can offer support to help look after your own mental health or if you are concerned about someone you know.

  • Shout – offers confidential 24/7 text messaging support for times when you need immediate support. Trained volunteers can help with issues such as stress, anxiety and depression and will work with you to take your next steps towards feeling better. Text the word “REACH” to 85258.  Visit www.giveusashout.org
  • Samaritans – a safe place to talk 24/7 about whatever is troubling you. Call 116 123.  Visit www.samaritans.org/
  • Talking Therapies – free NHS therapy for people with common mental health problems such as anxiety or depression, to help you change the way you feel by changing the way you think.  Online therapy available 24/7, with weekly online support from your therapist. Six-week course also available to help you to develop skills to manage your mood.  Visit merseycare.nhs.uk  and search talking therapies.
  • Listening Ear – provides counselling support for people of all ages. Call 0151 488 6648 Visit https://listening-ear.co.uk
  • Silver Line – free, confidential telephone service for those aged 55 and over, provides friendship, conversation and support 24/7. Call 0800 470 8090 or visit thesilverline.org.uk/
  • AMPARO – free confidential support for anyone affected by suicide. Call 0330 088 9255 or visit amparo.org.uk/
  • StayAlive app – for those at risk of suicide and for people worried about someone. Suicide prevention resource which provides information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis including a safety plan and LifeBox where people can upload images or videos that remind them of their reasons to stay alive. Download free on both iOS and Android devices.

Children and young people – support helplines and services

The agencies below can offer support to help you look after your own mental health or if you are concerned about someone you know.

  • Koothprovides online support and counselling, information, advice and support for young people in secondary schools. Visit kooth.com or speak to your child’s school.
  • Listening Ear – provides face to face counselling support for people of all ages including children and young people.Call 0151 488 6648.  Visit  https://listening-ear.co.uk
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) works with young people up to the age of 18 who have emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties which are causing difficulties in their school, family or social life. Speak to your GP, health visitor, social worker or school health advisor who will be able to refer you into this specialist service.
  • Papyrus is for people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide, or anyone concerned about a young person. Call 0800 068 4141 or visit papyrus-uk.org
  • DiAmond – for children and young people who have been affected by domestic abuse and require support for their mental and emotional wellbeing.  Call 0151 488 6648. Visit Emotional Support for Domestic Abuse – Listening Ear Merseyside (listening-ear.co.uk).
  • Butterflies – for children and young people who require mental and emotional support following bereavement, loss or separation.  Call 0151 488 6648. Visit Affected by Bereavement & Loss – Listening Ear Merseyside (listening-ear.co.uk).
  • ADDvanced Solutionsprovides support for children, young people and their families living with neurodevelopmental conditions, specific learning difficulties and associated mental health needs. Call 0151 486 1788. Visit addvancedsolutions.co.uk
  • Young Minds website – offers lots of practical tips and advice and real-life stories from other young people who have struggled with their mental health. Parents and carers who are concerned about their child’s mental health up to the age of 25 can get advice from the confidential helpline – call 0808 802 5544.   You can also access webchat and email advice via the website youngminds.org.uk