Worries over money, housing, heating and food can affect our mental wellbeing, causing stress, anxiety and depression. Financial concerns can also increase for some people after Christmas expenditures. Coupled with relationship and health issues, you may need to reach out and talk to a trained counsellor.
Release the Pressure offers a text service to people who are struggling to cope and need immediate help. People can text the word “Kent” or “Medway” to 85258, to start a conversation with one of the trained and experienced team who can give help at any time, wherever you are.
Help is also available via the Release the Pressure 24/7 freephone helpline 0800 107 0160. Find more information at www.releasethepressure.uk
Tom Fishenden from Mid Kent Mind said: “We know that the holidays can be a really challenging period of time for people. For many of us, the shorter days can make it harder to do the things which help us to maintain positive levels of mental health. We can’t always get outside in the colder climate or do the other things we might enjoy doing in the warmer months – and that can have a massive impact on how many of us stay well.
“We are very proud to work closely with KCC and the ‘Release The Pressure’ team as having a listening ear, no matter what time of day, can make a huge difference – and can provide someone with the chance to talk about what they’re going through.”
You can also find local support services on NHS Kent and Medway’s Mental Wellbeing Information Hub
Kent County Council’s Mental Health Consultant Jess Mookherjee said: “We are already seeing the impact of financial issues across households in Kent on people’s mental health and wellbeing and we know that these pressures can build up during the Christmas and New Year periods.
“There is some fantastic online and community support to help but if you are needing an urgent response, the Release the Pressure text service and helpline are available 24/7 and we urge residents to reach out and use them.”
Recognising that the rise in the cost of living is already affecting residents, both Kent County Council and Medway Council have also put useful information in one place on their websites. This includes financial advice and support including Council Tax reduction, help with childcare costs and food and energy bills. People living in Kent can find this information at www.kent.gov.uk/kenttogether and Medway’ residents at www.medway.gov.uk/householdhelp.