COMMENT: We all have a part to play in looking out for each other

As the glitter, tinsel and togetherness of Christmas fade away, it is understandable that many people have been battling the January blues this week.

Friday, 5th January 2018, 6:47 am

We’re back at work, maybe realising we need to lose weight, and the bank balance is depleted.

The year ahead stretches ahead like a blank sheet of paper, and we are searching for glimmers to look forward to on the horizon as 2018 gets into full swing.

Yes, the winter weather is cold, wet and dreary, but before you know it, the green shoots of spring will appear, we tell ourselves.

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The sun will come out tomorrow — it’s a thought to get you through the long January days and nights. But too many people are prone to dwell on problems until they seem overwhelming.

And if mental health comes into the equation, all too often some may think that ending it all is the answer.

So Portsmouth City Council’s All Too Much? campaign is both timely and commendable.

It is aimed at men between the ages of 25 and 49, after data revealed that suicide rates among men in Portsmouth were 40 per cent above the national average.

A series of posters and digital ads will appear, encouraging people to seek help if they feel low. We hope it will save lives.

But it is worth remembering that we can all play a part in looking out for others, trying to spot signs of mental distress, and offering a shoulder to cry on where necessary.

It’s good to talk and a smile here, an encouraging word there, can work wonders in helping others to focus on the positives. Happy new year has been a phrase on our lips this past week, but let us all do what we can to ensure 2018 remains happy for everyone.