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Canterbury: Not everyone has a Merry Christmas

User AvatarPosted by Beatrice Liddell at 23/12/2014 15:24:48

Many often feel at their loneliest or unhappiest at this time of year - that’s why the NHS is reminding people that support is available. 

GP Dr Mark Jones, Chair of NHS Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Christmas and New Year can be a stressful time for the best of us, with added pressure to spend money we haven’t got, and to spend time with relatives we perhaps don’t get on with.

“For people already coping with serious problems in their lives, the festive season may make them feel significantly worse.

“Others can feel incredibly lonely and isolated over Christmas, perhaps thinking of loved ones who are no longer with us.

“If the way you feel is impacting on your life every day, it is important to seek help.”

The Mental Health Matters 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 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 08457 909090, email jo@samaritans.org or face-to-face; visit www.samaritans.org for details of your local branch.

People whose daily lives are being affected by anxiety, depression or other common mental health problems may also be eligible for free NHS talking therapy.

Dr Jones added: “You can refer yourself for talking therapy – the details are on the Live It Well website (www.liveitwell.org.uk) - or you can talk to your GP about it.

“The website, which is for Kent and Medway, also has details of ways to wellbeing which can make it easier to cope and to get more out of life in general.

“I would encourage people to have a go at the ways to wellbeing; they cost nothing and may make a big difference to the way you feel.”

For helpful advice and information, visit the Live It Well website: www.liveitwell.org.uk