Take a moment and reach out this Christmas

Take a moment and reach out this Christmas

December and the festive period can be a distressing and challenging time for many people who find themselves dealing with loneliness and poor mental health.

This could be because you find yourself feeling alone or left out because everyone around you appears to be happy when you’re not. Do you find yourself wishing you didn’t have to deal with Christmas or other stressful situations in your life or even feeling frustrated by other people’s views of a ‘perfect’ Christmas’?

We can all play a part in helping people around us. Our ‘Take a Moment’ campaign encourages everyone to take some time out and think about who you could reach out to and then reach out to them and ask them how they are doing. This could be a friend who you haven’t spoken to for a long time, someone who has struggled in the past, or you know could be or is struggling now. Reaching out to someone can really make a big difference.

Take a Moment has three simple elements

Take a moment and reach out

  • Ask if they are okay and encourage them to tell you how they are
  • Ask them twice – firstly if they are okay and then how they have been
  • If they are struggling, encourage them to tell their story and what is happening

Listen with compassion

  • The most effective thing you can do is connect and listen – without interrupting.
  • Listen, empathise and let them know their feelings are normal
  • You can’t ever make things worse; messaging or talking to you will help them feel better

You don’t always need solutions

  • If they are having suicidal thoughts, it’s important to always take them seriously – they will struggle to ask for help.
  • If they are in crisis or need support, advise them to text Paragon to 85258, a free and confidential service to get support and help from Shout.
  • Telling them that things will get better and help is there for them will give them hope

Reach out to someone this Christmas, either via a message or call. It is a powerful way of giving someone hope, letting them know someone cares and is thinking about them. And if you find yourself unable to talk to friends or family about what you’re going through – use Shout 85258, a free text service – Text Paragon on 85258 and an advisor will help you work through your anxiety, stress or worry.

If you’re a learner with us and want to find out more about our safeguarding and support for learners please visit our welfare and safeguarding page on the website.

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