Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind are getting you thinking this Christmas…
Christmas can be an emotional and challenging time for many people but a new campaign is being launched to help people who struggle this time of year.
The ‘Christmas in Mind Campaign’ is the first of its kind and aims to raise awareness of the mental health struggles people can face during the festive period and hopes to give a helping hand to those who feel lonely over Christmas.
The campaign, created by volunteers from Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind, runs every day counting down the 12 days of Christmas, from 12th December to 24th December.
The aim is to encourage people to do acts of kindness for friends, neighbours or loved ones and get people thinking about the small things they can do. Taking time out to speak to people, especially if they are on their own and asking them if they are okay can go a long way to help someone have a happier Christmas.
Each day of the Christmas countdown, Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind will release mental health stories, guidance and opportunities online and through social media for people who want to do something to help others, as well as for people who are struggling themselves.
People will also be asked to join in by sharing their own acts of kindness and tips on how to cope at this time of year.
Anti-Stigma volunteer, Bethany turner, said: “we’re looking forward to helping people over Christmas and we understand the struggles people can be facing. I try to be thoughtful all year round but in the run up to Christmas I've handed out warm soup to homeless people around Middlesbrough town centre and donated some warm winter coats.'
'It’s nice to make a little bit of difference to someone in that situation'.
Other local services and organisations will be also be encouraged to participate by spreading the message and promoting the help that’s available to people as well as raising awareness in the workplace.
Chief Executive of Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind, Emma Howitt, said: “This time of year, with the pressure and stress of Christmas and some people celebrating without loved ones, I think it’s really important to let people know that they’re not alone. Lots of people do struggle this time of year but help is out there.
“It’s also fantastic to see local people get into the festive spirit of giving and the little things, like popping along to visit a lonely neighbour, that can make a big difference to people.”
Join in on the Christmas campaign with the hashtag #ChristmasInMind and see what individuals and organisations are pledging.
If you or someone you know is struggling or feeling lonely this Christmas, Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind offer a range of services to suit individual needs from one-to-one therapy to workshops. One programme, Ageing Better Middlesbrough is working to reduce loneliness and isolation for people 50 and over.
There’s always someone on the end of the line at Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind on 01642 257020.