Festive Wellbeing

Festive Wellbeing

Christmas is a special time of year for our society. Whether you’re a fan or not, it returns year after year and creates a wave of office parties, festive lights, Christmas trees and cards, turkey, religious celebrations, ice skating and presents.

It’s a lot to take in and over in a flash. But have you ever stopped and thought about the effect of the festive season on your mental health?

Mental Health in Dorset

One in four British adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in their lifetime, according to Mind. In Dorset alone, 130,000 people are likely to have a diagnosable mental health condition right now. The impact of poor mental health and wellbeing is estimated to cost the UK economy £74-99 billion annually.

Over the next few weeks, Dorset Mind will discuss some of the most important topics in festive mental health. These will include commentary from many sports personalities, celebrities, wellbeing consultants, business leaders and academics in the locality.

A Psychologist’s Advice

Dr Andrew Mayers, Principal Academic in Psychology at Bournemouth University and Patron for Dorset Mind, provides his insight:

“It’s important we all look after our mental health at this time of year. It can be all too easy to mask our distressing thoughts by over-indulging. That will not address the problem; it will just make it worse. If we think we might struggle this Christmas, reach out to someone you trust who can check if you are okay from time to time.

If we notice that a friend, family member, or just someone we know looks like they may be troubled, ask them how they are. It might help them seek that support they need. You could make their Christmas.”

Where to Find Help this Festive Season

Although many charities may be closed during Christmas, the Samaritans are open 24/7, 365 days a year on Freephone on 116 123.

If you or somebody else needs urgent help because of a mental health problem, or is at risk of death or injury, please call 999 and ask for an ambulance or police.

For other crisis situations, call your GP (or other allocated health professional) – or your local Community Mental Health Team.

The Retreat at Hahneman House, Bournemouth provides a safe and welcoming environment to discuss your problems and work towards solutions. Staffed by mental health professionals and peer specialists (who have their own lived experience), The Retreat offers out-of-hours support and advice on self-management. It’s an open access service for adults aged 18 and over in a crisis or wanting to avoid one.  Best of all, you can self-refer.