“Blue Monday Initiative is important but we should be thinking about our mental health every day of the year!“
Blue Monday takes place on the third Monday in January – today 18th January 2021.
This year, Blue Monday will fall on Monday 18th January 2021 and it is believed the combination of bad weather, post-Christmas debt and failed New Year’s resolutions all contribute to Blue Monday being the most depressing day of the year. Not to mention the effects of the lockdown!
Newcastle Suicide Prevention Task Group is made up of community, voluntary and statutory organisations and it aims to reduce suicides and promote positive mental health and wellbeing to the residents living in the greater Newcastle Area.
The Groups Co-Chair Kathy Black, said: “Perhaps the true meaning of Blue Monday is that we all actually have mental health and that there are steps that we can take every day of year to try to protect it.
“Mental Health problems last for more than one day usually and can affect people in different ways and intensities on any day of the year.
“We feel it is important to reach out to the community to sign post anyone who is struggling, feeling isolated, lonely or helpless particularly during the Covid-19 crisis to say you are not alone and there are a range of local and regional professional support services available.”
Jill Truesdale, the Co-Chair of the Newcastle Suicide Prevention Task Group, said: “As part of the Blue Monday Initiative the Task Group has put together a flyer which includes contact details of both local and regional organisations who can help.
“Please remember it can be difficult for people to reach out for help so if you are a family member or friend don’t forget to reach in to help people access support.
“We would like to highlight two services on the flyer:
- Community Advice Newry, Mourne and Down (formerly Citizens Advice)
- Mental Health Practitioners as part of the multi- disciplinary team within your GP practice.
Community Advice Newry Mourne and Down (formerly Citizens Advice).
“Many people who were just about managing financially or otherwise now find that they can no longer do so. This may be because they are not able to work at present, are on furlough or have lost their job. Community Advice Newry Mourne and Down (formerly Citizens Advice) advise the following.
“Firstly, try not to panic. Don’t ignore the situation either. It will only get worse. Support is available and due to demand Community Advice Newry Mourne and Down have extended the Helpline opening hours to include Thursday evening 4pm to 7pm and Saturday morning 9am to 12noon, evening appointments are also available to help complete forms etc.
“Telephone: 0300 30 30 306, WhatsApp: 07359004967 (text only) or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental Health Practitioners as part of the multi- disciplinary team within your GP practice.
“Secondly, If you are concerned or would like to talk to someone about your mental health and wellbeing which includes stress, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, bereavement, and addiction issues (alcohol, drugs, gambling) please contact your GP surgery.”
Jill Truesdale added, “Your Mental Health practitioner can advise on management of your mental health, offer short term treatment, direct you to appropriate services or refer you to specialist mental health services.
“Please contact your GP surgery to arrange an appointment or speak to your local GP. Local practitioners for Newcastle include Vivienne McBurney based at Donard Group practice and Betty Laird Byrne based at Causeway practice.
If you are thinking of suicide or are worried about someone who might be thinking of suicide, please contact one of these helplines free as soon as possible on:
Lifeline 0808 808 8000
HOPELINEUK 0800 068 4141
Samaritans 116 12
The Newcastle Suicide Prevention Task Group was set up 8 years ago and comprises of local faith representatives, community leaders, community, voluntary and statutory agencies.
The group’s objectives are to:
- increase awareness of suicide prevention and mental health promotion.
- increase uptake of suicide prevention/mental health awareness training.
- support the implementation of a Trust Community Response Plan.
- promote mental health and wellbeing services through a number of annual events.
- apply for funding to promote mental health and wellbeing awareness.