Lancashire and South Cumbria’s mental health trust is reminding people that they are there to listen to those struggling after the festive period.
Last week (commencing 8 January) has seen many children return to school, parents back to work and life returning to normal after Christmas and New Year celebrations.
While the return of a normal routine will be welcome for some, others may start to feel down or anxious, particularly due to the cold and wet weather and dark mornings, but also as they may now be having to face important life decisions or career choices they previously put off until the start of 2024.
Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCft) is letting people know that this is completely normal and is sharing tips to help people cope.
Georgia Fifer, Deputy Team Lead, from LSCft’s Talking Therapies, said: “We often see an increase in people contacting our service this time of year as people are getting back to normal after the excitement and bustle of Christmas and New Year.
“It’s now that people may have to make hard choices, are thinking about a change of career or are dealing with relationship or family life issues. It could even be the realisation of the financial impact Christmas has had or the failure to upkeep New Year’s resolutions. Many people refer to it as the ‘January Blues’ but for some, it’s goes further than having a few days feeling down, it can trigger or worsen anxiety and depression, which we are here to help with.
“If this sounds like you, please know we are here.”
The advice coincides with the launch of a new virtual chat service named ‘Wysa’ on LSCft’s website to help people refer themselves to get support from Talking Therapies anytime.
Georgia is also offering tips on how to get through January if you are finding it difficult. She continued: “There are some practical things to do to help you feel better including letting yourself know it normal to feel like this after Christmas, try to get plenty of daylight, avoid making unrealistic resolutions, get plenty of exercise and eat well with a good mix of fruit and vegetables.
“The New Year is a great time to take up a new hobby or skill and remember how important a good night’s sleep is because that also affects our moods.
“If you are struggling to cope, even with trying the advice above, please contact us at Talking Therapies.”
You can chat to Wysa, fill in an online referral form or find the right number to call for your area to speak to Talking Therapies at lscft.nhs.uk/talking-therapies/self-referral.
Further mental health support is available across Lancashire and South Cumbria through the Crisis Line on 0800 953 0110, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you are concerned that someone may be an immediate danger to themselves or others, please call 999.