The Samaritans is encouraging people to rebuild meaningful connections with their friends, family, colleagues and communities during Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from May 9-15.
With the official theme of the week being ‘loneliness’, the charity says now is a good time to catch up with people you have love contact with over a cuppa – either in person or online.
Marie, the Director of Ballymena Samaritans, said: “Loneliness can affect any of us at one time or another. Samaritans recognise that loneliness can be both the driver for and a product of poor mental health.
“With the easing of the restrictions during the covid pandemic, some of us may be trying to reconnect with family, friends and work colleagues.
“The world is changing fast. The pandemic has given rise to a sense of loneliness and isolation which can undermine your personal confidence in daily routines.
“You may have had limited access to family, friends and colleagues. You may be looking forward to meeting up, socialising or getting back to the work environment.
“However, some of you may be struggling with returning to your ‘usual’ pre-pandemic life.
“If you are struggling with loneliness, isolation or the stresses of life, Samaritans are always ready to listen and support you whenever you need us.
“It may be easier to talk to someone who you do not know well. You may feel that you are the only one struggling, who is not coping.
“Mental Health Awareness Week is all about supporting yourself and each other to support and manage your mental health and wellbeing.
n If you need support contact Samaritans on 116 123 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org – you will be listened to without judgement and in confidence.”
Loneliness can be difficult to cope with and can start to affect your mental health, making you feel sad, depressed or giving you feelings of low self-esteem.
Sometimes, if you are already struggling with your mental health, it can be difficult for you to interact with your loved ones in the way you usually would.
This can make you feel isolated and lonely even when you didn’t feel that way before.
n If you would like to find out more about the service provided by Samaritans contact the Ballymena branch on 028 2564 4846 daily between 7.30pm-10pm or email email@example.com for more information.
n Samaritans has eight branches throughout Northern Ireland which can be contacted in confidence 24 hours a day on 116 123.
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