14 December 2015

With Christmas and the New Year fast approaching, the holidays can bring stress and loneliness for many people. Whilst most are enjoying the festivities of the season, it can be a difficult time for others. The Trust is reminding people of the importance of looking after their mental health over the holiday period.

Depression and low mood, be it mild or severe can make you feel helpless, although there is no simple solution, taking an active role in your mental health can help you on your way. 

There are a number of things that you can do to look after your mental health over the holiday period: 

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help 
  2. Keep active – physical activity can benefit mental well being
  3. Connect with others – combat isolation by engaging with friends and family, meet people at local community groups and/or organisations.  
  4. Drink and eat sensibly- manage your consumption of alcohol and be careful to not exceed the recommended daily limit. Eat well and maintain a healthy and nutritious diet.
  5. Sleep well –  a regular sleep pattern can improve mental and physical health
  6. Relax – take steps to manage stress: Keep active, implement a regular sleep pattern and eat well. 

Medical Director, Dr Kevin Cleary said, 

“The holidays are traditionally a time of joy and celebration but for those dealing with mental health or addictions; it can be a particularly tough time. Loneliness and isolation can affect mental wellbeing over the holidays so it is important to be aware of the signs. There are a number of local and national helplines, health professionals and other support services which can help you during this time.”

Although this is a difficult time for many, there is always someone to call for help. It is important that individuals look after their mental health and those of their friends, families and neighbours during this critical holiday season. If you feel your mental health is deteriorating or if you are in distress and you need to contact a health professional out of office hours, you can call one of the numbers below for the borough you live in:

For Bedfordshire - call 01234 315691
For City of London and Hackney - call  020 8432 8020 
For Luton - call 01582 538631
For Newham - call 020 7540 6782
For Tower Hamlets - call 020 7771 5807

Getting help in an emergency

For urgent medical help or advice call 111, in the event on an emergency call 999 or attend the Department of Psychological Medicine based in the A&E department at Newham University Hospital.

National Helplines: For confidential support and advice, there are confidential helplines that are available 24hr a day, 7 days a week.

Saneline: 0845 767 8000 (6pm - 11pm every day) www.sane.org.uk  
Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90