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How to reach out and where to get help in Greater Manchester this ‘Blue Monday’

Whether or not it's real or just a myth, we must not ignore the core of what 'Blue Monday' is all about, so here's some information on where to get help if you need it.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 17th January 2022

Today is what is known as ‘Blue Monday’.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it was first coined by physiologist Cliff Arnall back in 2004 and it suggests that the third Monday of every January is “the most depressing day of the year”, with a theory that essentially claims that this is the time of year when we’re all cold, broke, and riddled with guilt that our New Year’s resolutions to get fit, drink less alcohol, and be a better human being, have fallen by the wayside.

It’s certainly been met with its skeptics over the years for a number of reasons, with emotional support charity Samaritans particularly keen to highlight that there’s no such thing and that people can feel a range of emotions any day of the year. 

Samaritans volunteers say they hear similar concerns all year round from those who contact the charity, with an average of 10,000 calls coming in each day.

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But of course, in 2022, we’re also dealing with the emergence of another COVID variant nearly two years after life was flipped on its head and the country was placed into the first national lockdown on top of those annual January difficulties, so there’s a good chance some people may be feeling the strain of today a little more than they may do others.

Read more: Samaritans is encouraging Mancs to reach out for ‘a cuppa and a catch-up’ this Blue Monday

Recent studies by leading mental health charity MIND have revealed that more than half of adults (60%), and over two thirds of young people (68%), said their mental health has deteriorated during one of the many lockdowns and throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This is why we must not ignore the core of what ‘Blue Monday’ is about, whether or not it’s real or just a myth.

Are you keen to reach out to someone, but aren’t so sure on how to start a conversation?

We know that talking about mental health is not always easy.

But starting a conversation doesn’t have to be awkward, and being there for someone can make a huge difference.

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While it’s true that there is no right way to talk about mental health, and just the act of starting a conversation itself could have a significant impact on someone who needs it, that doesn’t mean we’re always confident approaching the subject, so we’ve rounded up five top tips to guide you and make sure you’re lending a hand in a helpful way. 

Check them out here.

Are you struggling with your mental health?

If you or anyone you know is struggling right now, please know that you are never alone and there are many different places you can reach out to for support right here in Greater Manchester.

Suffering in silence never need be the way.

  • Manchester Mind – An organisation that has supported people in Manchester for over 30 years. Most services are now available over the phone, by email or video call. The number is 0161 769 5732 and the opening hours are Monday – Friday, 10am -2pm.
  • The GM Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust – The local NHS helpline is open 24/7 which you can call any time, day or night, if you feel your mental health is beginning to suffer: 0800 953 0285.
  • Andy’s Man Club – A group dedicated to starting conversations about mental health, assuring people that it’s ok to talk. You can contact them by email on: [email protected].
  • CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably supports people via phone and webchat. You can call 0800 58 58 58 or speak to a support worker online. Open 5pm – midnight.
  • Samaritans – The Manchester & Salford Samaritans offer emotional support by telephone and email. The phone lines and email support are available 24/7. Call 116 123 or visit the website.
The third Monday of every January has been dubbed ‘Blue Monday’ / Credit: iStockphoto

Another great resource we recommend checking out is Manchester’s very own Feel Good Club.

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The movement – which started humbly as an Instagram page, filled with uplifted messages and top tips by founders Kiera and Aimie Lawlor-Skillen – is aimed at normalising the stigma around mental health, and has since flourished into a successful online platform and a wellbeing-focused cafe in the heart of the Northern Quarter.

Read more: Why following Feel Good Club is the biggest favour you can do yourself this ‘Blue Monday’

The Manc Group is also here to help too.

There are real people behind our platforms, and our DMs are always open, so we encourage you to drop us a message should you ever need a chat and we will be more than happy to help point you in the right direction towards the best help possible.

And remember, no matter how many times it may have been said before, it cannot be said enough – it’s okay not to be okay, and your emotions are always valid.

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We got this, Manchester.

Featured Image – Flickr (James Johnstone)