Christmas gets a bad press in mental health circles. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard people say how they’re dreading the ordeal of Christmas, especially in the absence of family and friends, as something to be endured until January’s merciful reprieve. Even if you’re busy with family and work, Christmas may sound like a juggernaut heading your way through the fog.
So at the risk of spreading even more unseasonal doom and gloom, the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2 weeks ago was a reminder that, if we thought the last 3 years was bad, the next 6 years are going to be worse. Never mind the next round of cuts to Local Authority budgets and the capping of benefits rates, just as chilling was the invitation for hardworking neighbours to take exception to those whose blinds remain drawn in the morning. Not much recognition for those with severe depression for whom getting up to face the day requires an act of extreme bravery!
But Christmas is Christmas and Solent Mind is celebrating with ... a bad Christmas jumper day on Friday. This is in a good cause – raising money for Solent Mind, but since it coincides with the Mayan prediction for the end of the world – 21st December – we may just be tempting fate. That’s if we even make it to Friday. We have 20.12 on 20/12 in 2012 to survive first.
So if we survive the end of the Mayan calendar, perhaps take a moment over the Christmas break to catch up with family and friends that you have not spoken to for a while and see how they are. You may be surprised at what they have to say.
From all the staff at Solent Mind, we would like to wish you a merry Christmas, and a happy new year!