I'd like to start on a positive note by wishing everybody here a merry Christmas and a happy new year. As has already been said by others, all the discussions here have kept me smiling during what has been a bit of a s*** year.
Onto a more serious point though, this Christmas is going to be tough for many people. As some here will know, I have been battling some mental health issues for the past year (inc. pre-COVID), and no doubt others will be in the same boat. As such, I'd like to repeat some advice that I gave out following the tragic death of Caroline Flack. Although this advice was originally intended for anybody experiencing feeling of depression or considering suicide, it's applicable to anybody who is struggling at all with their mental health.
If you feel like you are struggling with your mental health, the best thing you can do is speak to somebody in any way you can. It could be a family member, a trusted friend, your GP, a colleague, or even somebody on here. If you don't feel like speaking, then communicating through text works just as well. It might not be easy to start that discussion, or it might feel like any efforts are futile, but trust me when I say that once you start talking, it really does help.
Alternatively, there are many charities out there who will also be offering support at this time. The biggest one is the Samaritans
who are available whenever you might need them. You can call them for free at any time on 116 123, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Other charities offering support can be found on the NHS
websites. If you find yourself having a mental health crisis, contact your local NHS mental health helpline
, or call 111. Finally, if you feel like your life is in danger, don't be afraid to call 999.
I hope that nobody feels the need to use this advice, but given what we're all facing this year, I feel it's a good time to repeat it just in case. I'll be around my laptop for most of the next few days, so if you feel like talking to me about any issues you have, feel free to send me a message and I'll be happy to listen and give whatever advice or comfort I can.
It's always difficult to put together a nice ending for a message like this, so I've decided to share a song which I've always gone to whenever I've felt at my worse. That song is You Are Not Alone by Emeli Sandé.
Have a safe and merry Christmas, and don't suffer in silence.