Blue Monday

Today is Blue Monday- allegedly the most depressing day of the year.

Based on a formula devised by ‘life coach and happiness consultant’ Cliff Arnall, factors in this calculation include the grim January weather; debt accrued over the festive period; the amount of time that has passed since Christmas and the likelihood that the good intent of New Year resolutions more than probably lies in tatters; and wider feelings of demotivation that people are likely to be feeling.

Sounds a bit scientifically sketchy? You bet. Pseudo-science? Not entirely unfair either, though some of the above are observed phenomena. But even though you cannot shoehorn sadness, let alone clinical depression, into a single day, and I am pleased to see that the mental health charity, Mind, are tweeting today using #BlueAnyDay.

Nonetheless, Blue Monday is a useful peg to raise awareness of wider mental health difficulties that affect a huge amount of lives across the UK, irrespective of the time of year. According to Mind, approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and in England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem, such as anxiety and depression, in any given week.

The Samaritans are holding various ‘Brew Monday’ events today around the UK to open up opportunities to get together and chat about mental health over a cup of tea.

If you can get to one of these events, do go and check it out.

The point is talking to someone helps. Usually - it’s better than not talking.

If you want to talk to someone about a mental health problem for yourself, your family or your friends you can also talk to Mind’s helpline.

There’s no easy answer - but not talking is no answer.