We are urging people to reach out if they are struggling with their mental health this festive period. 

For many people the Christmas period is an opportunity to celebrate, spend time with family and friends and enjoy the festivities. But for some the pressures of work, home life and the current cost of living crisis can easily leave people feeling overwhelmed.

We are encouraging us all to be considerate of others and open up conversations if we need help or believe others may be struggling.

The current cost of living crisis is undoubtedly adding financial pressure for many and with the colder weather and increased use of heating coupled with the added cost of Christmas, it is expected that anxiety around money is set to peak.

Chris Oliver, Interim Chief Executive said:

“We recognise that Christmas and the festive period isn’t always a happy time for everyone, it can lead to feelings of low mood, loneliness and anxiety from the added financial stresses.

We are urging everyone to be aware of their own mental health, take steps to protect themselves and stop and ask for help if needed. 

For those needing support or help, across Lancashire and South Cumbria we have free mental health help available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even during the Christmas period.”

Demand for crisis support has increased by one third since before the pandemic and doubled since 2017. Less than 2% of people who call 24/7 mental health crisis lines then need to attend A&E for further support.  

It can be hard to admit that such an exciting time of year doesn’t feel that wonderful but there are a number of things you can do to help.

Rubina Chaudry, Acting Strategic Lead for Mindsmatter and First Step IAPT Services advises:

“Firstly set a budget for spending and stick to it. It can be very easy to feel pressured to overspend, but by establishing a budget you are setting your own boundaries and won’t be entering into a New Year carrying financial debt with you.

Allow yourself to enjoy all the festive treats but don’t overindulge on food and alcohol. Routines can sometimes be more relaxed around Christmas but make a conscious effort to still maintain healthily habits and limit your indulgence in the consumption of both food and alcohol.

Spend time doing activities you enjoy and spend some time outdoors to boost your exposure to Vitamin D. Perhaps take a Boxing Day walk with family and friends to blow away any Christmas cobwebs.”

If you feel like you need any mental health support, reach out and ask for help. People who are struggling often say what a huge relief it is to talk about what they are experiencing and understand what they can do to help themselves feel better.

Mental health support is available across Lancashire and South Cumbria and is accessible for everybody. You can call the Crisis Line on 0800 953 0110 which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Full details of services available from Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust are available here.