Alongside cold weather, high heating bills and a little less disposable income after an especially expensive month, January can often feel comparably miserable.
This has led to the idea that the third Monday in January is ‘Blue Monday’, allegedly the most difficult day of the year.
However, the Samaritans have renamed this as ‘Brew Monday’; an opportunity to get people together, stay connected and raise awareness about how important it is to talk about mental health.
Mental health disorders can affect anyone, no matter who they are.
The Mental Health Foundation found that only 13 percent of people reported living with high levels of positive mental health.
The Office of National Statistics found that around one in four people who reported difficulty in paying their energy bills experienced moderate to severe depressive symptoms. This is nearly three times higher than those who found it easy to pay their bills.
This is on top of an increase in people experiencing a mental health issue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Across the country, whilst the prevalence of mental health issues has increased, the availability of support services has decreased since 2010, with treatment often becoming a postcode lottery.
Sadly, in Barnsley we have seen more children struggling with their mental health, and a rise in young people being hospitalised for self-harm.
However, people in the Barnsley community often come together to raise money for causes like mental health, with people taking part in fundraising events, holding community sessions, and being there for each other.
Talking to someone you trust about anything that’s weighing on you, whether it be a specific anxiety or a longer-term problem, is often the start of resolving the issue.
Sometimes it’s hard to begin that initial conversation, but Mind UK found that 73 percent of those who have spoken about their mental health had at least one positive conversation.
The Labour Party have committed to improving mental health services in government. This will include having a trained mental health specialist in every school, mental health hubs for communities around the country, and recruiting thousands more mental health staff to cut the long waits people encounter too often.
It doesn’t have to be Brew Monday to talk about mental health! Speak to someone you trust if you feel like you are struggling and reach out if you notice someone who might be going through a tough time.
You can contact the Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123.
You can contact Mind UK on 0300 123 3393.
If you feel you are feeling suicidal or have seriously injured yourself, you should call 999 now.