Experts from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) are gearing up for New Year with advice on how to stay in good mental health over the holiday. Being active, drinking responsibly and knowing when and where to get help when necessary are the three cornerstones of the guidance from mental health professionals.
Colin McCormack, Head of Mental Health at the Southeast Glasgow Community Health and Care Partnership (CHCP), says that although the festive season can be exhausting, there is plenty you can do to combat stress: "New Year can be great fun but it can also bring lots of demands and it can be very stressful.
"By taking a few simple steps you can keep yourself in good mental health. By keeping an eye on how much you're drinking, by making sure you get out and about and aren't cooped up inside, and by getting at least some exercise over the New Year you stand a much better chance of keeping on an even keel.
"However, it's also important to know when you need help and where you can get it in those circumstances. Anyone who feels they need extra help can take advantage of various forms of support provided by NHSGGC and other organisations. Many of these are provided online, which means people can get help in the privacy of their own home whenever it might be needed."
Help is available from NHSGGC online over the New Year, as it is throughout the rest of the year. An award-winning website, www.livinglifetothefull.com, is run by the START project based at Gartnavel Royal Hospital. Supported by NHSGGC and Depression Alliance Scotland, the START project offers assistance through a range of self-help resources, including the website. The website provides help based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and is specially designed to be user-friendly.
It can be accessed at a time and place convenient to the user, including over the festivities at New Year for those who need it. Help is provided using easily understood self-help materials that address low mood and stress.
NHSGGC also run another site, www.glasgowsteps.com, which can offer easy-to-access information quickly on common mental health problems, such as depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, panic attacks and phobias.
For those people suffering distress or despair, established national helpline services are also available throughout the New Year period. The Samaritans can be contacted on 08457 90 90 90; Breathing Space Scotland can be reached from 6pm - 2am on 0800 83 85 87 and NHS 24 is available on 08454 24 24 24. All help is confidential.
For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.