There are many things that can make us feel low or hopeless and these feelings can come and go, but it’s important to take them seriously. If you are having thoughts of suicide, are harming yourself or have thoughts about self-harm, it’s important to tell someone. These thoughts and feelings can be complex, frightening and confusing, but you do not have to struggle alone. Whilst The Retreat is not able to provide crisis services, if you feel unable to cope or keep yourself safe please contact one of the following organisations to get support right away.
Age UK (England) – tips for if you are feeling down at Christmas –https://www.ageuk.org.uk/discover/2020/12/what-to-do-if-youre-feeling-down-at-christmas/
Beat – Offers information and advice on eating disorders, and runs a supportive online community. Also provides a directory of support services at HelpFinder.
Beat’s answers to five questions you may have about Christmas with an eating disorder – https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/your-stories/five-questions-about-christmas-eating-disorder/
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – Provides listening services, information and support for anyone who needs to talk, including a web chat. 0800 58 58 58 www.thecalmzone.net
Combat Stress – Treatment and support for armed forces veterans who have mental health problems. 0800 1381 619 www.combatstress.org.uk
The Compassionate Friends – Provides support to bereaved families after the death of a child. 0345 123 2304 www.tcf.org.uk The Compassionate Friends’ tips for coping with Christmas can be found here https://www.tcf.org.uk/2020-coping-with-christmas/
Cruse Bereavement Care – Information and support after a bereavement. 0808 808 1677 www.cruse.org.uk Cruse’s information on coping with grief at Christmas https://www.cruse.org.uk/understanding-grief/effects-of-grief/christmas/
LGBT Foundation– Advice, support and information for people identifying as LGBTQ+.0345 3 30 30 30 www.lgbt.foundation LGBT Foundation’s Christmas survival guide can be found here https://lgbt.foundation/news/lgbt-christmas-survival-guide/257
Men’s Advice Line – Confidential advice and support for men who have experienced domestic violence and abuse by a current or ex-partner or family member. 0808 801 0327 www.mensadviceline.org.uk
Money Helper – Provides free and impartial money advice. 0800 138 7777; 18001 0800 915 4622 (textphone); www.moneyhelper.org.uk Money Helper’s information on money, saving and Christmas can be found here https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/savings/types-of-savings/saving-money-for-christmas
The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) Supports adult survivors of any form of childhood abuse. Offers a helpline, email support and local services. 0808 801 0331 email@example.com NAPAC’s advice on surviving Christmas as a survivor can be found here https://napac.org.uk/surviving-christmas-as-a-survivor/
National Domestic Abuse Helpline Free 24-hour helpline for women who have experienced domestic abuse and violence, with all female advisors. Also offers a live chat and can help to find refuge accommodation. Run by the domestic violence charity Refuge. 0808 2000 247 www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk I haven’t been able to find similar for men, though I guess that the men’s advice line, above, might help.
NHS 111 Non-emergency medical help and advice for people in England. 111 www.111.nhs.uk
NHS UK Information about health problems and treatments, including details of local NHS services in England. www.nhs.uk
Relate Provides help and support with relationships, including counselling and telephone support 0300 003 0396 www.relate.org.uk Relate’s tips for a stress-free Christmas can be found here https://www.relate.org.uk/blog/six-tips-stress-free-christmas
Samaritans Samaritans are open 24/7 for anyone who needs to talk. You can visit some Samaritans branches in person. 116 123 (freephone) email firstname.lastname@example.org www.samaritans.org Samaritans’ Christmas coping information can be found here https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/if-youre-having-difficult-time/if-youre-finding-things-hard-this-christmas/
Shout Confidential 24/7 text service offering support if you are in crisis and need immediate help.
85258 (text SHOUT) www.giveusashout.org Shout’s tips on feeling less alone over the festive season can be found here https://giveusashout.org/latest/thank-you-for-reminding-me-that-im-not-alone/
The Silver Line Provides support, information, friendship and advice for older people (over 55) who may feel lonely or isolated. 0800 4 70 80 90 www.thesilverline.org.uk
Stand Alone Charity supporting adults who are estranged (not in contact) from their family. www.standalone.org.uk Standalone’s festive guide to the Christmas period can be found here https://www.standalone.org.uk/guides/festive-guide/
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) Emotional and practical support and local groups for anyone bereaved or affected by suicide. 0300 111 5065 www.uk-sobs.org.uk
Switchboard Listening services, information and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. 0300 330 0630 www.switchboard.lgbt
Tommy’s Information and support for people affected by stillbirth, miscarriage and premature birth. www.tommys.org Tommy’s advice on coping with Christmas when you’ve suffered the loss of a baby can be found here https://www.tommys.org/about-us/charity-news/coping-christmas-when-you-have-lost-baby
The Trussell Trust Emergency food and support for people in need. Includes a searchable list of local foodbanks. www.trusselltrust.org