Local volunteers are promoting “how powerful listening can be” by urging Mancs to stop for “a cuppa and a catch-up” this Blue Monday.
In a bid to power through the cold winter months and to provide support on what is always said to be one of the ‘most depressing days of the year’, Samaritans is encouraging the Greater Manchester community to reach out to someone they care about for “a cuppa and a catch-up” as part of the annual ‘Brew Monday’ campaign.
While the third Monday in January is widely-known to have its challenges, the charity is keen to highlight that there’s no such thing as ‘Blue Monday’, as 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.
From December 2020 – November 2021, Samaritans said that 46% of contacts that reached out for emotional support mentioned mental health and illness, 34% mentioned family, and 28% mentioned loneliness as a concern.
So, to ensure nobody struggles alone, on Brew Monday or any other day, Samaritans is reminding everyone to check in on friends, family, colleagues on 17 January.
Don’t worry if you’re not a big tea or coffee drinker, or you’re reading this after 2022’s Blue Monday has been and gone, as Samaritans stresses that the campaign is not really about that – it’s more about connecting and really listening to each other.
“We know how powerful listening can be,” said Lynn Sbaih – Branch Director at Stockport Samaritans.
“As we enter another winter in these difficult times, we are encouraging people to look out for their family, friends and work colleagues and be that listening ear that they might just need.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday morning or Thursday night, or if you’re drinking lemonade, black coffee or apple juice, if you’re sharing a cup of something and listening, you’re making a difference to someone’s day.”
Stockport Samaritans will be at Stockport railway station from 7am to 9am on 17th January – known as 2022’s Blue Monday – where they will be handing out teabags, talking to passengers about the importance of reaching out, and providing listening tips, while Bury Samaritans will be spreading the Brew Monday warmth with tea bag deliveries at local food banks.
Support is also available at Manchester & Salford Samaritans, Bolton Samaritans, and Rochdale Samaritans, both this Blue Monday and all year round.
“Listening helps us build relationships, be there for others, and it can save lives,” Lynn added.
“Through our event, we hope that we can help more people to support others who may need a listening ear.”
You can join the conversation using #BrewMonday, and find more information here.
Featured Image – Unsplash