Families and friends in Leeds are being asked to give the gift of time to some with mental health issues this Christmas as part of the Yorkshire Evening Post’s crucial campaign.
The YEP launched our #SpeakYourMind campaign in October, to help combat the damaging social stigma surrounding mental health.
And today, as Christmas approaches, we are calling on friends and families to consider pledging time to talk about mental health issues with a loved one, neighbour or colleague who may need extra help during the festive period.
YEP editor Nicola Furbisher said: “While many people in Leeds will be looking forward to Christmas, for a lot of people with mental health issues it can be one of the most difficult times of the year. Mental health issues are still so much more common than people realise and many struggle to talk about them.
“By pledging time to speak to family, friends or a loved one who has a mental health problem this Christmas, you can help make a difference.”
Though Christmas can be a joyous time for many, for some it can be one of the most difficult periods of the year.
Initiatives and help is at hand across the city, from organisations and charities who work with those who have mental health issues during the festive period.
Over the next few weeks, the YEP will discuss other mental health initiatives in Leeds, the reality of those who have crises at Christmas and a call to make a difference with a New Year’s resolution for January 1.
Our call asking people to give the gift of time this Christmas has been backed by mental health charity Leeds Mind, which supports and offers advice and guidance to people with mental health issues across the city.
Helen Kemp, chief executive of Leeds Mind, said: “Christmas can be a difficult time for many people in Leeds who have mental health difficulties, and being able to talk to someone can really help.
“Giving your time to talk to someone or spend time with someone around Christmas is a great idea and can make a real difference.
“Leeds Mind is supporting the YEP’s call asking people to give the gift of time this Christmas.”
We launched our campaign in October with coverage of the Leeds Community Foundation’s (LCF) pioneering mental health conference for businesses.
The Leeds Leads: Healthy Mind for a Thriving City event - which the YEP partnered - included speeches from former Downing Street press secretary Alastair Campbell and ex-Leeds United footballer Clarke Carlisle.
It included more than 100 city business leaders and was organised by the LCF, which gives out grants to worth causes across the city.
How you can get involved
People can pledge support for the YEP’s vital menatl health anti-stigma campaign by using the hashtag #SpeakYourMind on social media.
We want to raise awareness, so share your experiences and views about mental health with us. You can get involved by using the hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need to talk to someone in confidence about issues, Leeds’s Samaritans charity and support service can help. It offers confidential and emotional support, 24 hours-a-day on 0113 245 6789.
Alternatively, people can also get support from Leeds’s survivor-led Crisis Service. Call 0113 260 9328 for more information or to access the service.