The Christmas season is once again upon us. Most of us are finishing up work for the year, going on holidays, getting some Christmas shopping done and organising Christmas catch ups with family and friends. During this busy time I’d like you to take a moment, take a moment to think of those who have no one to share this time with. Many don’t have a family dinner to go to or lunches planned and are very lonely.

This time of year can be quite hard for those suffering from mental health issues. It can be a very hard and depressing time for some, who do not have any family.

So what can we do as a community to help?

I always like to take a look at the people around me and not presume that everyone has family and friends to share this time of year with. Maybe if we all took a little bit of time to get to know those around us such as our neighbors and work colleges, we can help to reach out and invite them to a lunch, dinner or just a catch up. For many, just knowing there is someone there to help fill some of the loneliness can be a huge impact on someone’s life.

Please take an extra 5 minutes to speak to someone and make him or her realise that they aren’t alone. Your 5 minutes can help make a huge difference to someone’s life.

I’d like to also take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas, and thank all those who will sacrifice being with their families over the holiday period to work looking after other peoples family members.

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