We are frequently told that Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year” yet more people than you might think are affected by mental health difficulties around the holidays. In fact, last year a YouGov poll found that around 1 in 4 people feel Christmas makes their mental health worse.
This year, many of us are feeling fatigued by a lingering pandemic and the cost of living crisis. The emotional, physical and financial burdens may mean some of us are not experiencing the full joy during this festive season, and it is okay to feel that way. Just remember you are not alone in how you feel, and if you find yourself needing support this Christmas there are many free self-help resources that can be accessed online and mental health helplines you can text or call to speak to someone about your concerns.
Support from UPSU
If you are a student that will be staying in Plymouth this Christmas, you may find yourself without the company of your usual social group or housemates and therefore feel alone and isolated. However, it does not have to be this way; many other students will also be in a similar position who you can arrange to meet with either in person or virtually through the UPSU Buddy Scheme! Read our article Finding a Friend this Festive Break with the UPSU Buddy Scheme here.
Support from the University of Plymouth
The University of Plymouth has partnered with Togetherall—a safe, online, peer-to-peer 24/7 global community moderated by clinical professionals to help individuals take control of their mental health anonymously through a wealth of resources and self-help courses for free. Find out more about the Togetherall service and available support over Christmas here.
Self Help Inspiring E-Resources (SHINE)
SHINE is created by students, counsellors and researchers. You can find external resources, self-care and anxiety apps and apps that reduce pressure on the NHS by visiting SHINE on the University of Plymouth website.
Other support services
Qwell provides anonymous support options from UK professionals, including online messaging, community support, personal development tools and therapeutic content. Anyone over the age of 18 years old living in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay can access support from Qwell. You do not need a referral from a health professional, simply complete a short registration process.
Shout is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling and needs in-the-moment support.
Samaritans—a volunteer-led organisation in the UK—are available to contact 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, offering confidential, emotional support to anyone who needs it.
Remember: If you or someone is in immediate danger, your local police force will be able to help you 24/7, 365 days a year.