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Samaritans urges West Berkshire residents to reach out to others on 'Brew Monday'

Thames Valley Police among organisations encouraging people to check on loved ones

Sarah Bosley

sarah.bosley@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886655

Samaritans urges West Berkshire residents to reach out to others on  'Brew Monday'

Great British Bake Off Finalist and Samaritans volunteer Laura Adlington has a virtual cuppa in support of Samaritans Brew Monday. Photo credit Kate Peters

Today – the third Monday in January – is always billed as ‘Blue Monday’. But Samaritans are flipping it on its head this year and encouraging people to reach out to others and create a ‘Brew Monday’ instead.

This year, with a third national lockdown underway, many more people are currently isolated and this can increase feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

Thames Valley Police is among a number of local organisations sharing the important message on its social media channels throughout today.

New online research from the charity, conducted by YouGov, has found that more than half – 58 per cent - of UK adults felt that speaking regularly to friends and family either on the phone, via video calls or in person over the last year had a positive effect on their mental wellbeing.

Samaritans has joined forces with The Great British Bake Off’s Laura Adlington and, in a bid to make sure no one is lonely as restrictions continue, is urging people to reach out to someone they care about for a virtual cuppa and a chat.

“I’ve felt very isolated and there have been days where I didn’t want to get out of bed, let alone talk to anyone. But I found that the more I talked and reached out to people, the better I felt.

“Keeping in touch with people throughout the pandemic has been the only way I’ve got through it.

“If 2020 has taught us anything it’s to be kind. If you think someone is struggling, ask them if they’re ok.

“You’re not going to make them feel worse. You don’t need to have all the answers. A phone call is such a small thing, but it can mean the world to someone.”

Samaritans CEO Julie Bentley added: “The challenges many people face during winter have been felt even more acutely this year with the pandemic restrictions.

“At Samaritans, we know how powerful talking and listening can be, even if it is virtually. It doesn’t have to be a Monday or a cup of tea, it’s about taking the time to listen and support one another. It could save a life.”

Network Rail and the rail industry is also supporting Brew Monday with the help of author and illustrator Charlie Mackesy.

The author has shared a special uplifting illustration from his much-loved book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse which features a new message for today; the Mole asks a slice of cake, “can I share you with a friend?” and it will be displayed across Network Rail stations’ digital screens.

You can find more help and advice from the following organisations:

Time to Talk: www.t2twb.org or call (01635) 760331. You can also find help and advice on the charity’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (all @t2twb) or by emailing hello@t2twb.org

You can visit recoveryinmind.org and find a number of resources to help you look after your mental health.

Eight Bells for Mental Health: www.eightbellsnewbury.co.uk – call 07387 962220 – email coordinator@eightbellsnewbury.co.uk

Talking Therapies – www.talkingtherapies.berkshirehealthcare.nhs.uk – call 0300 365 2000

Mental Health Crisis Team – call if you need urgent help, but it’s not an emergency 0300 365 0300 or 0300 365 9999

Sane Line – www.sane.org.uk  – call 0300 304 7000 

The Samaritans: www.samaritans.org – call 116 123 – email jo@samaritans.org

Childline: www.childline.org.uk – 0800 1111

Mind: www.mind.org.uk – 0300 123 3393 or text 86463

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