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NT PHN launches Christmas In Mind mental health campaign for festive period

The holiday season is an opportunity to get together, celebrate, and reflect on the past year, but for many it can also be a time of stress, anxiety, disappointment, or loneliness.

Northern Territory Primary Health Network has today launched its Christmas In Mind social media campaign, prompting all Territorians to look after theirs and their loved ones’ mental health during the Christmas and New Year period.

Christmas In Mind provides links to 24-hour crisis support services, counselling support services, and community service organisations.

These specialised support services are readily available to listen to any concerns and to provide support and assistance to develop coping strategies.

Northern Territory PHN Chief Executive Officer Nicki Herriot said it’s important to remember to take some time out, seek help when it’s needed, and to check on loved ones throughout the holiday season.

“Some people experience feelings of isolation, financial pressures, or increased family conflict that can make this a very stressful time of year,” Ms Herriot said.

“This campaign focuses on effective ways to beat Christmas stress and anxiety, deal with family tension, take care of money worries, and manage loneliness.

“Our Christmas In Mind campaign urges people to reach out to free online and phone support services such as Lifeline, beyondblue, headspace, and many more.”

Ms Herriot believes reaching out to the community and providing this information and advice is an effective way to get conversations started and reduce social isolation.

“Christmas is certainly a busy time, usually accompanied by high expectations and increased social activity,” she said.

“However, some people may live alone, be under financial or mental distress, be isolated from family and friends in a remote location, or be subject to trauma such as domestic violence.

“It may also be a sad time where it’s their first Christmas without a loved one who has passed away.

“For these people, Christmas can be a time when they need an extra helping hand.

“A significant proportion of people with severe mental illness shy away from social interaction because of stigma and past experiences.

“Those of us who have stable housing, income, a great family, and friends should think about those who don’t have these things, often through no fault of their own, and through a simple act of kindness can help people feel as if someone is thinking or caring about them.”

The Christmas In Mind campaign will be run on Northern Territory PHN’s social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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