Not everyone loves Christmas

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By KMCSmedia | Tuesday, December 24, 2013, 11:43

Christmas is famously the season to be jolly, but it is also a time which is stressful for many. Family pressures, expectations and money worries can make for a difficult mix and the desire to make sure everyone is happy and having a good time adds to the strain.

For people already coping with serious problems in their lives, the festive season may make them feel significantly worse.

Of course, it is not just Christmas that can cause stress. People with money or work worries, concerns about their relationships or home life or who are living with or caring for someone with a long-term health condition are recognised to be at higher risk of anxiety and depression.

That's why NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reminding people that support is available. 

Dr Chris Anota, lead GP for mental health at NHS Medway CCG says: "Talking to friends and family is one of the best things when you're feeling down. But if everyone around you is too busy to talk, or too fraught to pay attention to what you're trying to say, you can end up feeling more isolated than ever.

"If the way you feel is impacting on your life every day, it is important to seek help."

The Mental Health Matters helpline (0800 107 0160) offers confidential emotional support and guidance for people in Kent and Medway 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Helpline staff are trained in counselling, so can provide support over the phone and also have details of local and national services if people want more support.

Samaritans provides confidential support for anyone feeling down, depressed or anxious, as well as those who may be feeling despair. Volunteers can be contacted 24/7 on 08457 90 90 90, or for face-to-face support visit for details of your local branch.

People whose daily lives are being affected by anxiety, depression or other common mental health problems may also be eligible for free NHS talking therapy.

Dr Anota added: "You can refer yourself for talking therapy – the details are on the Live It Well website ( - or you can talk to your GP about it.

"The website, which is for Kent and Medway, also has details of ways to wellbeing which can make it easier to cope and to get more out of life in general.

"I would encourage people to give the ways to wellbeing a go now and in the New Year; they cost nothing and may make a big difference to the way you feel."

For helpful advice and information, visit the Live It Well

The ways to wellbeing are:

• connect – with the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community.

• be active – discover an activity you enjoy and that suits your level of fitness

• take notice – savour the moment. Notice the changing seasons. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling

• keep learning – try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Learning something new can make you more confident as well as being fun

• give – do something nice for someone

Grow your world – make small changes to reduce your energy use and look after your environment. 

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