Don’t suffer in silence this Christmas

Mental health crisis services are open in Surrey and NE Hants throughout Christmas period

Christmas is traditionally a time for friends and family and good cheer, but for many of us Christmas can be a difficult time that adds extra pressure and stress to our lives and can increase feelings of isolation.

This festive season, we are reminding Surrey and north east Hampshire’s residents that they aren’t alone, and that anyone experiencing a mental health crisis can speak to a professional over the Christmas period.

Five Safe Havens, across Surrey and NE Hants, will be open throughout the Christmas period, including in the afternoon and evenings on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The Safe Havens offer a friendly environment for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis to have an informal chat with a professional without needing to prebook an appointment or phone ahead. Full information about opening times and locations can be found at www.sabp.nhs.uk/safehaven

Georgina Foulds, our Interim Co Director for Mental Health and Social Care, said: “Christmas can be a lonely time for many people and we want to let all of our local residents know that we are open for business and will be offering help and support throughout the festive period.”

Surrey and NE Hants’ Mental Health Crisis Helpline will also be open 24 hours per day on Christmas and New Year bank holidays for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. The helpline can be contacted by ringing 0300 456 83 42 or texting 07717 989024.

Georgina Foulds continues: “Feelings of loneliness, especially around the festive period, can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health, so I urge anyone who is worried about a friend or neighbour being on their own this Christmas to pop in for a quick chat over a cup of tea and a mince pie. This small gesture really could make all the difference.”

Children and young people who require mental health support over the Christmas period can visit www.kooth.com for daily online counselling sessions which are available until 10pm every day. Kooth also offers 24/7 access to self-help materials and peer-to-peer support forums.

Charitable organisation The Samaritans will also be available to talk to during a crisis 24 hours a day throughout the Christmas period. The Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or at jo@samaritans.org.

Please see below for the Christmas opening times of the five Safe Havens for people aged over 18:

The opening times for the local evening and weekend drop in service for children and young people aged 10-18 years. are slightly different over the festive period - with additional openings on Friday and Saturdays to allow for closures on Xmas Eve, Xmas Day and New Years Eve and New Years Day.

Please see below for details. Normal opening hours for The CYP Haven will resume on Wednesday 3 January 2018 (Mondays and Wednesdays, 4pm – 8.30pm, and on Sundays, 12noon – 6pm)