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Feeling low this Christmas?

Published: 26 Dec 2015 00:01

Breathing Space helpline offers helping hand.

Help is available for people who are experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety this Christmas.

That is the message from Jamie Hepburn, Scotland's first Mental Health Minister.

One place people can go to for help is Breathing Space – a Scottish Government-funded phone line which offers free, non-judgemental and confidential advice for people who are feeling low. It can be contacted on 0800 83 85 87.

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said:

"For most of us Christmas is something we look forward to – a time to enjoy the company of friends and family. Unfortunately there are some for whom Christmas can be a time of loneliness and anxiety, when emotional and mental health problems can come to the fore.

"My message to anyone suffering distress is, you are not alone and there is no need to suffer in silence.

"If you are unable to talk through your problems with someone close to you, your GP will be able to help. Out of hours you can call NHS 24 on 111.

"In addition, the Breathing Space helpline is staffed by a team of dedicated mental health professionals who will listen to your concerns and can provided signposting to sources of support in your local area.

"If you are feeling depressed, suffering from anxiety or just want to talk through a problem, they are there to help. The phone line is free, and that includes calls from mobile phones.

"Breathing Space is open from 6pm to 2am Monday to Thursday – and from 6pm Friday all though the weekend to 6am Monday.

"Another option is Samaritans. They offer emotional support 24-hours-a-day and can be contacted free on 116 123.

"Finally, if you are severely unwell, and contemplating taking your life, or you know someone else who is – do not hesitate to dial 999 and ask for an ambulance."

Notes to editors

Breathing Space is provided for the Scottish Government by NHS 24. It offers free and confidential advice for people experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety, whatever the cause.

For a wide range of useful information and advice about coping with low mood, depression and anxiety visit: www.nhsinform.co.uk/mentalhealth

For more information on Breathing Space, including advice on coping with depression and anxiety visit: www.breathingspace.scot

For more information on the Samaritans, visit: www.samaritans.org