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Mental health support on Blue Monday

Posted on the 11th January 2018

Referred to as the single glummest day of the year, people feeling down or struggling with their mental health on Blue Monday on 15 January can access support from the Mindsmatter service offered by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.

The third Monday of January is dubbed ‘Blue Monday’ due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold dark nights and the arrival of unpaid credit card bills. This is a day that reminds us that Christmas is over, our finances are low and the weather is getting colder, and a time when people are most likely to experience anxiety, low mood and distress.

As a result, Lancashire Care’s Mindsmatter service is encouraging people who may be struggling with common difficulties to get in touch for support. The service provides a variety of services that include stress control workshops, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and access to online therapy courses.

Kieran Fleck, Mindsmatter Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner Lead at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“January can be a difficult month with the pressure of the festive period taking its toll people both emotionally and financially. People can also often find it hard to open up and taking the first move to get support can at times seem impossible. If you are concerned about the way you are feeling or the low mood of someone you care about you can contact your local team for advice and support. Once we receive the referral, the individual will receive a Welcome Call from one of our Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners who will discuss their needs and work with the individual to decide which course of treatment would be most suited to their needs. We want to remind people of the support available to them so they don’t suffer alone.”

The Mindsmatter service is also providing some top tips to keep people well this Blue Monday. People can follow these on their own or with family and friends.

1.    Find and cook a new recipe. Look for healthy ideas online, buy the ingredients and cook it for yourself or your family.

2.    Go for a walk in the park, maybe look for a Geocache with friends or family as a fun challenge. www.geocaching.com/play.

3.    Spend 15 mins doing some mindful practice, try mindful observation or breathing www.pocketmindfulness.com/6-mindfulness-exercises-you-can-try-today/. These techniques can really help reduce worry and stress.

4.    Watch your favourite film or read your favourite book.

5.    Focus today on fixing or cleaning that thing you keep avoiding, something small and achievable.

Blue Monday is calculated using a series of factors that include the weather, debt level, the amount of time since Christmas, the time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and the feeling of needing to take charge of the situation.

People can access the service via the online referral form from the comfort of their own home, by post, telephone or by visiting their GP. For more information about your local Mindsmatter service and to access their online self-referral form please visit www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/Mindsmatter.