Warwickshire County Council (WCC) is reminding residents of the mental health and loneliness support available to those in need over the festive period.
Christmas can be a time of joy, celebration and community but some people might be feeling lonely, stressed or overwhelmed due to social, family or financial pressures, or struggles with their mental health.
The key message for people to remember this Christmas is that they are not alone. There are steps they can take to look after their mental wellbeing as well as a wide range of support services available to them.
One way to manage the stress and pressures of the season is to take some time for your own self-care, such as doing the following:
- Scheduling relaxation time during the Christmas holidays
- Having a chat with a friend or neighbour
- Going for a quiet walk alone in the fresh air
- Sitting down with a book and a cup of coffee
- Taking a break from your screens and social media
For those who are struggling or feeling overwhelmed with their mental health, there’s a range of support networks available to you, such as the Coventry and Warwickshire Mental Wellbeing Line that’s available 24/7 over the Christmas period, including Christmas Day and bank holidays. Call 0800 616171 to get in touch with them.
The friendly, compassionate team is ready to help anyone feeling low, anxious or stressed, who are looking for information or advice, or are socially isolated and want to connect with others.
‘In person’ support can be found through the Warwickshire Wellbeing Hubs that are open during the holiday season. These spaces provide a friendly atmosphere in a café setting – visit the Wellbeing for Warwickshire website to find the one that’s closest to you and their opening hours over Christmas and the New Year – those aged 18 and over can just drop in.
Young people can also access support online via anonymous counselling, chat and discussion forums from Kooth (age 16-25) and Qwell (aged 26+). Visit https://wellbeingforwarwickshire.org.uk/anonymous-web-support-on-any-device/ to find out more.
Anyone experiencing thoughts of suicide or significant self-harm can get help and support at dearlife.org.uk for themselves or someone they know. For urgent mental health crisis support call the Mental Health Access Hub on Freephone 08081 966798. If there is immediate risk to life, call 999.
Councillor Margaret Bell, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health said: “Christmas can be a wonderful time of year, but the added pressures it puts on people means it can be a challenging and lonely time for many.
“There is a wide range of support services accessible to anyone who is feeling low, stressed, overwhelmed or struggling with their mental health. Please open up to other people, go online, pick up the phone or meet with support workers who are there to help those in need during the festive season. Don’t feel like you should suffer in silence.”
Feelings of loneliness can intensify over Christmas, particularly if people find it hard to meet up and socialise with others.
WCC’s website www.warwickshire.gov.uk/loneliness offers plenty of information for anyone affected by loneliness and social isolation. Loneliness is also being highlighted as part of the council’s wider winter wellness campaign - visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/winterwellness to find out more.