Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Mental Health ChristmasFor most people, the Christmas –New Year period is a time for get-togethers with family and friends, celebrations and good times.  But for others, the festive season isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

Dr Gail Robinson, Clinical Director of the Mental Health Service at The Prince Charles Hospital, said it was important to be aware that Christmas was not a positive time for everyone.

“The festive season  generates much joy and excitement,  but it can also be a time of loneliness and sadness for some people or a time when personal problems may be heightened, ’’ Dr Robinson said.

“Stress, financial pressures and depression all can have an impact, so it’s important to look after your own mental health as well as others.”

Dr Robinson said while many people are able to work through any negative emotions on their own or by talking to a trusted friend or family member, others do not cope as well and may resort  to unhelpful behaviours to ease their pain such as drinking too much,  taking drugs or even becoming suicidal.

“Their situation may be worsened if there are pre-existing mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety or psychosis,” she said.

“It’s important for people to realise that it is okay to ask for help and to accept it.

“You might also be able to make things a little easier for someone else by just being there to listen and talk to or by visiting people you know who may be vulnerable.

“Looking after our mental health is a gift we can give to ourselves and to others.”

Metro North Mental Health’s services will operate during the holiday period alongside local hospital facilities.

If you, or someone you know, are experiencing difficulty and need to talk, there is a range of numbers to call for help

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