For many people, Christmas may not be ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. That’s why health experts in Ashford are reminding people that support is available over the festive season if family pressures, expectations or money worries build up.
The inclement winter weather and dark days mean it can also be especially difficult for people who are alone or have been bereaved.
Dr Navin Kumta, clinical chair for NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “The festive period can be a stressful, difficult or lonely time for many people. It is important if you are feeling the pressure or feeling low, that you speak to somebody to get the help and support you need. A friend, a colleague or health professional.
“Ongoing worries don’t just vanish because it is Christmas. It’s easy to be lulled into thinking that everyone else is having a wonderful time – but this perception is often misguided. People who live on their own can experience a great deal of sadness at this time of year.”
There are simple things we can all do to look after our mental health and wellbeing – take the Every Mind Matters quiz https://www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/health/one-you-kent/every-mind-matters to get started today with a free plan, expert advice and practical tips.
The Release the Pressure helpline (0800 107 0160) offers confidential emotional support and guidance for people in Kent and Medway 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Helpline staff are trained in counselling so can provide support over the phone. And they also have details of local and national services if people want more support.
Samaritans provides confidential support for anyone feeling down, depressed or anxious, as well as those who may be feeling despair. Volunteers can be contacted 24/7 on 116 123 (UK), or email firstname.lastname@example.org or face-to-face; visit www.samaritans.org for details of your local branch.
Live Well Kent can help people improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing. It is a free service for anyone over 17. Visit the website https://livewellkent.org.uk to find lots of information about opportunities in east Kent, including for talking therapies, or phone 0800 567 7699.