It is the time when people across the world decide what change to make in their life for the better.
Whether it is cutting back on alcohol, ditching the cigarettes or locking up the chocolate –New Year’s resolutions are starting to take shape before being adhered to from Sunday.
And when January 1 arrives, the Yorkshire Evening Post is calling on neighbours, family, friends and colleagues in Leeds to consider making a different kind of pledge on New Year’s Day for 2017.
The YEP is urging people to pledge to give the gift of time to someone with mental health issues as part of the our crucial campaign.
We launched the #SpeakYourMind campaign in October to help combat the damaging social stigma surrounding mental health.
And on Sunday, as the first day of 2017 begins, we are calling on people in Leeds to consider pledging time to talk about mental health issues with a loved one, neighbour or colleague who may need extra help at the start of the new year.
YEP Editor Nicola Furbisher said: “Though New Year’s Eve, and the fireworks and celebrations that traditionally run alongside it, are supposed to be a joyful time full of hope and excitement for the year ahead, the days that follow can in fact be one of the most difficult periods of the year for some people.
“As we all start making plans for the new year, we urge you to pledge some time to spend with a person who is living with mental health issues and speak to them about it.
“The more openly we speak about mental health and share our experiences, the closer we are to tackling the unnecessary stigma around the subject once and for all.”
At the start of the festive period, the YEP called on people across Leeds to consider giving the gift of time as a present to loved ones or friends in the city with mental health issues at Christmas.
The YEP’s call was backed by local mental health charity Leeds Mind, which supports and offers guidance and advice to people with mental health issues across the city.
Initiatives and help are on hand from a number of local organisations and charities which work with those who have mental health issues during the festive period.
BUSINESSES CAN TAKE PART
Businesses and organisations can also get involved with the Yorkshire Evening Post’s anti-stigma campaign.
As part of #SpeakYourMind, we are calling on businesses to make workplaces mental health-friendly and allow employees to speak out about their issues.
Businesses can pledge their support to the Mindful Employer Leeds initiative, which includes a ten-step toolkit with information about how to create a mental health-friendly workplace. Visit www.mindfulemployerleeds.com