Mental Health at Christmas

Christmas time is often a great bringer of joy to many, but it can also be a really lonely time for some. During this period there can be worries about money, spending time with people who don’t always make you feel at your best and sometimes Christmas may be a time we feel loss most. – but you are not alone and there is support available.

Mental Health Support

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to help improve and maintain your health & wellbeing, work & career, family & relationships, money management & debt. Go to https://my-eap.com/ and type in BHAM or call 0800 1116 387. Dedicated Managers telephone number 0800 1116 385 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm)

The Samaritans helpline is open 24/7, offering support and someone to talk to in times of crisis for free, you can call them on this number: 116 123. You can also email: jo@samaritans.org to write down your thoughts and feelings, for a response within 24 hours.
There are also Branches of The Samaritans in Birmingham, Brierley Hill and Solihull:

Birmingham -13 Bow Street, B1 1DW

Brierley Hill – Beryl House, 8 Albion Street, DY5 3EE

Solihull – Station Approach, Solihull, B91 1LE

Able Futures can help you manage your mental health at work. Call  on 0800 321 3137 from 8am to 10.30pm, Monday to Friday or apply online.
Able Futures delivers the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

It could be available to you if you can answer “yes” to the following questions:

  • Are you aged 16 or over?
  • Are you in work or about to start work?
  • Do you live in Great Britain?
  • Do you have mental health difficulties that impact upon your work?

This list is not exhaustive and it is ultimately up to the Department of Work and Pensions Access to Work Mental Health Support Service adviser to determine eligibility.

Birmingham Healthy Minds is an NHS primary care psychological therapies service that works closely with Birmingham GPs. BHM offers advice, information and brief psychological talking therapies for people aged 16 and over, who are often feeling anxious, low in mood or depressed. You can refer yourself by calling the service on 0121 301 2525. The lines are open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
You can also text ‘BHM’ to 60777 and they will call you.

St Martins Counselling offers low cost counselling services for individuals, but this is not a crisis service. A self assessment form can be downloaded from their website and filled out to submit to the service.

Carrs Lane Counselling centre in the heart of Birmingham.  Dedicated to providing a low cost first class counselling service for adults from Birmingham and the surrounding area. They can assist  with a range of issues and offer individual counselling and relationships counselling. To speak to someone at the centre call 0121 643 6363, they have varied opening hours which can be found on their website.

Cruse Bereavement Care promotes the well-being of bereaved people and aim enable anyone suffering the after effects of a death to understand their grief and cope with their loss. They provide free bereavement support and counselling to anyone living in the Birmingham area, irrespective of age, race, gender, culture, religion, ethnicity and disability. Call 0121 687 8010 to make a self referral.

Remember that you do not have to put yourself in negative situations to benefit others this Christmas – your mental health and wellbeing comes first.

You are worth it.

It’s okay to make mistakes, to have bad days, to be imperfect, to do what’s best for YOU, to be yourself.

Things to promote positive mental health:

  • Drink Sensibly.
  • Talk about your feelings – even to one of the above services.
  • Keep in touch with your loved ones.
  • Do something you’re good at.
  • Eat well – Your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body.
  • Keep active – regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better.
  • Accept who you are – we’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else.
  •  Take a break – A change of scene or a change of pace is good
    for your mental health.
  • Care for others – Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together.

The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of the world, but those who fight and win battles others do not know anything about.

For more information on mental health and for more help, click here.