On Saturday 19th December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the plans to relax COVID-19 restrictions for five days over Christmas will not go ahead. Christmas bubbles can now only mix for one day, on 25th December.
Sadly, because of this and new tier four restrictions introduced in areas including London, Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire, millions are set to spend Christmas away from their loved ones.
If you're struggling to stay positive and need someone to talk to, there are plenty of support organisations who are on hand to help. Take a look at some of them below:
1. Anxiety UK
If you're feeling anxious about the festive season and need someone to talk to, the team at Anxiety UK are always on hand to help. With hundreds of experts, you can ask to have a virtual video chat, enrol in therapy or simply have a phone call. During these uncertain times, it's never been more important to put your mental health first.
Helpline: 03444 775 774
Without judgement or pressure, the team at the Samaritans are here to help. If you're struggling with depression, suicide or mental health concerns, all you need to do is pick up the phone and someone will be there to listen. Never be afraid to ask for help.
Helpline: 116 123
MIND provide excellent help for those in need of mental health advice. Whether you want to join their virtual crafting afternoon or need to speak with someone who can help, they are always on board to assist. No problem is too big or small for them to listen.
The team add: "We believe no one should have to face a mental health problem alone. We'll listen, give you support and advice, and fight your corner."
Helpline: 0300 123 3393
Relate is the UK's largest provider of relationship support, offering help to those struggling. Whether you need a counsellor or therapist over the Christmas period, their specialist team can assist those with relationship struggles. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Relate is offering counselling via video chat, phone or webcam.
Helpline: 0300 0030396
5. The Silver Line
The Silver Line is a free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, every day of the year. If you're feeling lonely and need someone to talk to, simply pick up the phone and there will be someone to listen.
Helpline: 0800 4 70 80 90
6. Get Connected
This Christmas will be challenging for everyone, no matter our age or background. To help those under 25, Get Connected offers a free, confidential 24/7 helpline for young people who need help and don't know where to turn. From mental health queries to loneliness struggles, their team of experts go above and beyond to help the younger generation.
Helpline: 0808 808 4994
7. Cruse Helpline
Cruse is here to help those who are suffering with the loss of a loved one. Their national helpline is staffed by trained bereavement volunteers, who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement. Whatever you're going through, they will be there to help.
Helpline: 0808 808 1677
8. Family Action
Family Action exists to provide practical, emotional and financial support to those who are experiencing poverty and social isolation across the country. With many households struggling over the festive season, Family Action can help to provide them with whatever they need.
The team explain: "We're here to provide a listening ear, answer particular parenting questions or help with guidance around more complex issues. All support takes place via telephone, text message or email and is free."
Helpline: 0808 802 6666
Available to help those with depression and mental health issues, Togetherall is a vibrant online community where members can support each other. With a wide range of self-guided courses and trained professionals available 24/7 to keep the community safe, it's a charity that provides a safe space to talk, share and support.
Please note that there is no direct helpline.
10. Money Worries Helpline
If you're worrying about debt or the financial strains of Christmas, the Money Worries Helpline can help you overcome fears. As well as educating, inspiring and supporting people how to prevent future financial difficulties, they are also here to listen to your needs.
Helpline: 0330 022 7520
If you are worried about your mental health or need to speak with an expert, please call your GP.
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