With Christmas and New Year just over a week away, residents across Suffolk and North East Essex are being reminded that support and advice is available to those who may struggle to cope.
For some, December and January can bring added pressures that may contribute to any of the common mental health problems that as many as one in four people will experience in their lives.
The pressure of financial issues or feeling alone over the winter months, for example, can lead to low mood or trigger an increase in anxiety or depression.
Even clearing your desk before leaving work for your holiday can lead to an increase in stress levels.
Dr John Hague is mental health lead for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System. He said: “While the festive period can be a time for celebrations, it can also be a particularly challenging time for people who experience mental health problems.
“Anyone not feeling themselves and experiencing symptoms such as lack of motivation, tearfulness, feeling worried, change in appetite or weight, lack of energy, or disturbed sleep patterns, should seek advice.
“Evidence suggests there are also some simple steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing, including connecting more with people around us and taking time to be active, even if it’s just going for a walk.”
More information and details of local support available can be found through the following websites:
- Suffolk – https://www.healthysuffolk.org.uk/advice-services/adults/mental
- North East Essex – https://www.livewellcampaign.co.uk/article-categories/mental-well-being/
There is also a range of voluntary organisations such as the Samaritans that can offer advice and support as well as your local GP surgery. Staff there will be able to arrange a consultation or sign post you to the most appropriate service.