Mental Health & You: Part 1 - Looking After Yourself This Festive Season

CHRISTMAS is a special time of year for our society. Whether you’re a fan or not, it returns year on year and creates a wave of participation, office parties, bright lights, carols, Father Christmas, mince pies, Christmas trees and cards, turkey, religious celebrations, presents, ice skating and dazzling offers in the shops.

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?

One in four British adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in their lifetime. 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, mental health charity, Dorset Mind, will be discussing some of the most important topics in mental health with top tips and commentary from many of the most respected sports personalities, celebrities, health and wellbeing consultants, business leaders and academics in the locality.

Dr Andrew Mayers, of BU and patron for Dorset Mind, said: “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. 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.”

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 Police or Ambulance.

Exercise is known for alleviating mental health issues. Plan now to get active in 2019 and sign up to RED January and help shape futures and change lives with Dorset Mind: See

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