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Cumbria’s Mental Health support line here to help this Christmas

dsc_2132-3[M]indLine Cumbria, the county’s first dedicated Mental Health support line, is open between the bank holidays this Christmas.

Run in partnership between the five local Minds in the county, MindLine Cumbria offers practical information about Mental Health, including services and support available to people of all ages. The MindLine team can also provide information on types of mental health problems, medication, treatment, self-help, helplines, and online support. Callers are welcome to talk through concerns about their own or someone else’s mental health. Staff will listen and pay attention to callers in times of distress.

New research published by Mind has found that one in ten people feel unable to cope at Christmas, rising to a third of people with a mental health problem. Additionally, over a quarter of people feel the pressure to have the ‘perfect Christmas’, increasing to half of those with a mental health problem.

Chris Wood, Chief Officer for Carlisle Eden Mind says: “During the festive season, the pressure to be seen to be having a good time can feel overwhelming if you are dealing with mental health problems. I love Christmas, but any worries or anxieties I have tend to get intensified. I think it’s a feeling common to many people I know, a darker side to the holiday season that can sometimes be difficult to acknowledge.

“It’s like everything gets put in a pressure cooker, and slowly the closer to Christmas it gets the temperature gets turned up. When every day is an uphill battle, spending time surrounded by people pretending to be happy is something that many dread, a time that everywhere and everyone is telling you to enjoy. Make the most of your Christmas, but please be mindful of those who find it more of a struggle.

“If you have relatives, friends, or neighbours who experience mental health problems, or are alone, keep them in mind and make an effort to let them know how much you care about them. Let them know that if it all gets too much you are there to listen, or just to provide somewhere for them to hide away from it all for a bit. For you it is so little effort, but for someone else it can be a lifesaver.”

Kay Steven, MindLine Cumbria Co-ordinator said: “This time of year can be challenging for anyone but can be particularly difficult for those with a mental health problem. We are an experienced team and we are here for the people of Cumbria.

“We help a range of callers – from relatives concerned about a family member to individuals struggling and just not sure what to do next. Some callers want reassurance and friends and colleagues sometimes just want to know how to help someone. Working on the line gives you an insight into how resilient people are as well as how fragile life is for some. People are always welcome to call the line. We listen and we can help. Call MindLine Cumbria on 0300 561 0000 or visit www.MindLineCumbria.org for mental health information, guidance and emotional support.”

mindline-numberMindLine Cumbria is open weekdays 12pm-9pm and Saturdays from 5pm – 9pm, excluding Bank Holidays. For further details visit www.MindLineCumbria.org

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