FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UK, 20 December 2023— Although Christmas is a time of year people often associate with laughter, joy and happiness, recent data suggest that the holiday season negatively affects the mental health of as many as 1 in 4 in the UK.
There are numerous reasons why people feel low over the festive break. When polled, 83% said they felt lonely over the holidays, 81% found Christmas stressful, while 41% were anxious about the costs involved.
Combine this with the added pressure to socialise through December, the shorter days and colder weather, as well as the responsibility to meet seasonal deadlines at work, it is clear to see why millions in the UK can find the burden of the holidays difficult to manage.
While positive progress is being made to make the topic of mental health more approachable, 52% of adults say they pretend to be positive during the festivities, keeping how they actually feel to themselves.
Richard Black, NHS Talking Therapies Digital Services Manager at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) understands how challenging the festive period can be for people, especially if they are already coping with other mental health challenges.
“Meeting deadlines. Buying presents. Hosting family. Cooking dinners. Cleaning up. The list goes on, and can make what we often perceive as a fun, jolly holiday anything but.”
“In reality, Christmas can be an overwhelming time for some – a period where we feel low, anxious and stressed. For those already finding it difficult to manage their mental health, the festive season can add to the challenges they’re facing, making it harder to cope.”
“That’s why one-to-one therapy is so important. By giving people the opportunity to talk with a qualified therapist and discuss what’s on their mind face-to-face, over the phone, through video calls or via text chats, attendees receive structured support to help them cope with their difficulties now and in the future.”
What is one-to-one therapy?
One-to-one counselling is an evidence-based therapy where individuals communicate with mental health professionals through a medium that suits their preferences. This allows them to confidentially explore the difficulties they are experiencing, so they can take steps toward feeling better.
“Face-to-face therapy is often what first comes to mind when people talk about one-to-one counselling. And while this approach is very effective, we also understand that everybody’s path to recovery is unique to them,” added Black.
“That’s why at Therapy For You (the NHS Talking Therapies service for North East and South East Essex), we offer a variety of one-to-one therapies for our patients. Whether it’s video calls, typed text treatment or sessions held over the phone, all of our approaches can address common challenges such as stress, anxiety, depression, panic attacks and more.”
“This makes our numerous pathways to treatment a fantastic resource for people during the festive season. However, we also acknowledge that communicating with a therapist on a one-to-one basis isn’t right for everyone, and why we also proudly provide group therapy too.”
How one-to-one therapy can help over the holidays and beyond
As well as equipping service users with practical skills that allow them to recognise and manage unhelpful thoughts before they take hold, each of Therapy For You’s one-to-one therapies offer distinct benefits that make them ideal for those struggling at any time of year.
ieso typed therapy can be completed at practically any time
Thanks to the availability of typed therapy, communicating with a practitioner through text is a viable option for people with packed calendars who are looking for support.
“What makes ieso typed therapy so good, especially during the hectic holiday period, is that it’s available 7 days a week, from 6am – 11pm. That means even those with busy schedules have the ability to make positive progress on their path to feeling better,” added Black.
Video therapy allows attendees to speak face-to-face
Video therapy can provide a face-to-face element to counselling sessions, all while being accessible from anywhere.
“For those who don’t have the ability or desire to travel to in-person sessions, but still want to speak with a practitioner face-to-face, video therapy is a fantastic option. Offering both a personal and convenient option to feeling better, patients can always find the support they need through mental health video therapy,” said Black.
Phone therapy is highly accessible and convenient
Telephone counselling is a flexible and convenient pathway to treatment that enables attendees to speak with a therapist through the phone.
“Requiring nothing more than a phone to get started, telephone counselling is ideal for almost anyone as it is so approachable and easy to access. Plus, because phone therapy can be completed from practically anywhere, this type of treatment is perfect for people with unpredictable schedules or who simply don’t want to travel,” stated Black.
Face-to-face therapy gives patients time out to reflect
Meeting with a therapist face-to-face can give participants an opportunity to take a much-needed break from their usual day-to-day routines.
“Requiring individuals to physically attend one-to-one therapy sessions allows them to reflect on their mental health away from the situations that may be making them feel low, stressed or anxious – something important for meaningful progress and lasting recovery,” said Black.
Mental health support that isn’t just for the holidays
In a world where millions of people in the UK face difficulties with their mental health, one-to-one therapy stands out as a flexible and effective way of managing both the challenges typical at Christmas time, as well as the difficulties people face throughout the rest of the year.
Speaking on this, Black added, “Whether it’s through the delivery of video therapy, the support of face-to-face sessions, or referrals to ieso typed therapy, helping people on the path to feeling better is at the core of our service, and a mission the entire Therapy For You team is immensely proud to make possible all year round, whatever our patients’ preferences.”
Richard Black is the NHS Talking Therapies Digital Services Manager at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) and Clinical Director of Omnitherapy, the only online mental health platform delivering video-based treatment courses, developed and delivered by NHS clinicians.
About Therapy For You:
Therapy For You is the local NHS Talking Therapies provider for Colchester, Tendring, Southend, Castle Point and Rochford, committed to helping people feel better through a range of treatment pathways for anxiety, depression, stress and more, including:
- Omni Online CBT courses
- 1-1 therapy
- ieso online therapy
- Group therapy
- Video therapy
- Phone therapy
Working in partnership with Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT), Therapy For You remains devoted to breaking down the barriers to mental health access. They have helped 98.6% of its users seek meaningful support and 99.4% to better understand their difficulties through proven treatments and innovative online therapy.
The service provides treatment to individuals aged 18 and above in South East Essex and individuals aged 16 and above in North East Essex who are not currently receiving secondary mental health care or crisis services.
If you would like to learn more about their services, visit their website at www.therapyforyou.co.uk, or reach out on 01268 739 128 if you live in South East Essex, or 01206 334 001 if you are a resident of North East Essex.