Season to reach out and help others

THE NSW government is urging people to look after their mental health this festive season and reach out to those who may be troubled.

Mental Health Minister and member for Barwon Kevin Humphries says some people will be lonely and stressed over the Christmas and New Year period and existing problems can be exacerbated as they struggle to cope with the season’s demands.

“We all lead very busy lives and with so much happening over the holiday season it can be easy to forget about those who might not be coping,” Mr Humphries said in a statement.

“It’s important to look after your own and other’s mental health and wellbeing at this time of year.”

Mr Humphries said social pressure, financial stress, raised holiday expectations, increased feelings of loneliness and family interaction are the main causes of stress and anxiety during the festive season.

“At this time of year, as throughout all of the year, I encourage everyone to show support and awareness of friends, loved ones and those in your community who may be stressed, lonely, depressed or suffering a mental illness,” he said.

“If you know someone who’ll be alone over Christmas, give them a call and let them know you’re thinking about them.”

People needing support are encouraged to contact Lifeline’s 24-hour crisis telephone line on 13 11 14.

Ways to maintain mental health over the festive season

* Don’t be afraid to ask for help or accept it

* Keep active – physical activity helps to maintain mental wellbeing

* Stay in touch with people

* Talk to those you trust about how you are feeling

* Try to relax

* Balance responsibilities and work with recreation and leisure activities

* Drink in moderation

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