While the festive period is a time of joy and celebration for many, for some it can be filled with loneliness and isolation.
People living across Lancashire and South Cumbria have been urged to check in on their neighbours, friends or relatives who may find the season particularly difficult.
And for those who are suffering this Christmas, there is support available from the NHS and other organisations.
Dr Lindsey Dickinson, associate medical director for NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, which plans and organises health services across the region, said: “Reaching out with a text to a friend or family member to check in on them, have a chat, arrange a brew or see if they need anything, could make a huge difference to their life.
“Social isolation has a huge impact on mental health and not everyone feels comfortable asking people for help.
“For people living alone, seeing so many people coming together to celebrate can be upsetting and difficult.
“And if you do feel down this Christmas, please speak to someone. The fear of reaching out about mental health is completely understandable, but the vast majority of people feel so much better when they tell someone how they are feeling and ask for help. There really is no shame in this.”
If you are struggling this festive season, for mental health support get in touch with the wellbeing helpline on 0800 915 4640 or text ‘hello’ to 07860 022 846.
If your mental health is in crisis and you need support straight away, you can call the crisis line on 0800 953 0110.
Dial 999 straight away if you have harmed yourself.
Visit www.healthierlsc.co.uk/NHShealthwise for more information.