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You are not alone this Christmas

As you deck the halls, hang your stockings and are busy preparing for festivities, it can be easy to forget that the Christmas period can be the hardest time of year for some.

The NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are encouraging local people to remember that, while for many the Christmas period can be a time of joy and celebration, it can also be an especially challenging time of year for some people. In particular, this could be the case for people who may feel increasingly isolated or who are experiencing mental health difficulties.

More than eight in 10 people have experienced early signs of poor mental health in the past year including anxiety, stress, low mood or sleep troubles, according to a Public Health England (PHE) survey[1].

Dr Ian Hulme, clinical lead for mental health at NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG, explained:

“With the pressure to socialise, temptation to overindulge and finances stretched, Christmas can be a stressful time of year particularly for those struggling with mental health conditions. The festive period can also increase feelings of loneliness and isolation.

“Talking with family and friends can be a great help but it isn’t always easy or possible. We need to make sure that people know they are not alone and there is support available to them.”

Dr. Hulme added:

“If you or someone you know feels as though they can’t cope, speak to your GP right away.”

You can also get help and advice by calling one of the helplines or visiting the online support services below:

  • Youinmind, online directory for mental health support available in Cheshire
  • Samaritans, call 116 123, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Mind, call 0300 123 3393, Monday - Friday, 9am-6pm
  • Children & Young Person Well-being Hub, call 01606 555120, Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm
  • Children & Young Person Out of Hours Advice Line, call 01244397644, Monday - Friday 5pm - 10pm, weekends 12pm - 8pm
  • Kooth, online support and counselling for children
  • Childline, for people under 19. Call 0800 111, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Papyrus, for people under 35. Call 0800 068 41 41, Monday - Friday 10am - 10pm, weekends 2pm - 10pm
  • CALM, for men. Call 0800 58 58 58, 5pm – midnight every day.

If you need help urgently but it’s not an emergency, call NHS 111 or go to



To read self help leaflets about topics such as stress and anxiety, visit your local NHS CCG website here.

For more information about help for suicidal thoughts, visit the NHS website here.

To start a ‘Your Mind Plan’ which will direct you to resources to help you with your mood and mental health, visit the Every Mind Matters website here.