This year, our covid Christmas isn't going to be what any of us expected. Many people are already struggling to cope with challenges at work and at home and could benefit from some support. 

It's understandable to feel overwhelmed by all the changes that are coming, and to worry about what is ahead. And it's also OK to give yourself some time to come to terms with what is happening and to give yourself some care and attention to help yourself be able to cope with 2020's covid Christmas challenges. 

Ingeus leads Able Futures, a partnership across England, Scotland and Wales which delivers mental health support for people working on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. This means that if you are employed, self-employed or on an apprenticeship scheme, you could apply for nine months advice and guidance from a mental health professional at no cost. There are no waiting lists and support is completely confidential. 

Throughout December, Able Futures is sharing a daily tip any of us can try to help our mental wellbeing in a mental health advent calendar. Simple ideas like stretching our bodies, giving someone a compliment, turning off our phones 30 minutes before we go to bed or decorating the space around us to make it comfortable and bright can help us to feel calmer and give ourselves the care we need to feel well. 

Are you struggling this Christmas?
If you would like to talk to someone about your mental health during the festive period you could try these organisations.
  • Samaritans
    Call 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org. They are open 24/7.
     
  • SANEline
    Call 0300 304 7000 or visit www.sane.org.uk. They are open every day between 16:30 and 22:30.
 
If things have got so bad you are feeling unsafe, seek help immediately.
  • Go to any Accident & Emergency (A&E) department.
  • Call 999 and ask for an ambulance to take you to A&E.
  • Ask someone else to call 999 for you or take you to A&E.
 
If you need urgent support but don't want to go to A&E, you could:
  • Call Samaritans on freephone 116 123. They are always open and are there to listen.
  • Contact your GP and ask for an emergency appointment.
  • Contact NHS 111 (England) or NHS Direct 0845 46 47 (Wales).
  • Contact your local crisis team, if you are under their care.