Don’t suffer in silence, say health experts

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MENTAL health crisis services will be open over the Christmas period, according to Southern Health.

A number of acute mental health teams will be open across the county on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

These teams can be accessed via your GP.

For less urgent mental health issues, people can get in touch with the trust’s italk service – which provides access to psychological therapies for people suffering from low mood, depression and anxiety – is open as usual over the festive period, Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

People can self-refer to the service by calling 023 8038 3920, without having to first visit their GP.

Debbie Robinson, Southern Health’s associate director for adult mental health and learning disabilities, said: ‘Christmas can be a lonely time for many people and we want to let our local residents know that we will be offering help and support throughout the festive period.

‘Feelings of loneliness, especially around the festive period, can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health, so I urge anyone who is worried about a friend or neighbour being on their own this Christmas to pop in and see them for a quick chat over a cup of tea and a mince pie.

‘This small gesture really could make all the difference.’

The Samaritans will also be available to talk to 24 hours a day during the Christmas period.

To get in touch with them, call 116 123.