The Samaritan's mission is to make sure there is someone there for everyone
January – the month of new beginnings as we head into 2020. A time for putting our New Years' resolutions into action, whether it's buying your first car, getting that promotion at work or just to have a good year; January is where it all starts.
But the months following Christmas aren't always easy; pushing aside the excitement of the New Year, the worrying itch for the next payday begins to sit at the forefront of people's minds.
The dark dreariness of British winter weather brings down the once merry moods and sometimes it's easy to brush off mental health – when really, it's one of the essential components of keeping healthy, yet people are still afraid to talk about it.
One in six people in the UK report that they have suffered from mental health issues – this does not include the people who choose not to speak about these issues, in which 40% of men will never discuss their mental health. While women are typically more open when talking about their mental health; they are twice as likely to go through a depressive episode. Especially with the days being shorter, the lack of daylight means people are far more susceptible to falling into the seasonal depression.
With the aim to end the stigma around mental health, there are charities like the Samaritans who are set up to listen to people who need someone to talk to. The Samaritan's mission is to make sure there is someone there for everyone; they encourage and promote connecting with people to talk about how they feel. They can be contacted by phone, email, letter, or even visited at one of their local branches – where a trained volunteer will be there to listen.
If you or someone you know is feeling low you can always call 116 123; alternatively you can text SHOUT to 85258 if you don't want to call. It's the small talk that helps save lives – sometimes just talking to a friend or someone who will listen can make a huge difference, and can evoke change and help someone's mental health improve for the better.