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36% of Brits embarrassed to admit being lonely at Christmas

Thursday 21st December 2017
Mental health support is especially vital at Christmas time, with 36 per cent of people admitting to struggling with feelings of loneliness over the festive season. Image credit: Kerkez via iStock
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More than one-third (36 per cent) of people in the UK are too embarrassed to admit that they feel lonely at Christmas time, according to a new report.

Research from mental health charity Mind to accompany its Christmas Appeal shows that many individuals are still affected by the stigma that has long been associated with mental health conditions and are failing to seek support for their needs at this time of year.

As a result, their mental health could be at risk of worsening, meaning their support needs could end up much greater in the new year, creating something of a vicious cycle with their mental health.

Stephen Buckley, head of information at Mind, explained: "Although for many people Christmas is a time of festivity, it can brings its challenges, and for some people it can accentuate feelings of loneliness, which can really impact on our mental health.

"If you're already struggling under the emotional toll of the festive period, not feeling able to reach out for support can leave you thinking that there's nowhere to turn."

It was found that 26 per cent of people in the UK feel unable to access support at Christmas time. Younger people are more likely to feel embarrassed to admit this than their older counterparts, with 45 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds revealing they felt ashamed compared to 29 per cent of over-65s.

What's more, the research showed that women are more likely to feel lonely than men over the festive season (45 per cent versus 31 per cent), while 38 per cent of all respondents said that Christmas festivities prevented them from talking about their mental health to loved ones, even if they felt as though they needed to.

This therefore highlights the valuable work that mental health support workers do at this time of year, manning helplines and keeping in touch with their regular patients to make sure they are looking after their mental wellbeing at what can be a challenging time for many.

Written by Angela Newbury

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