Hope Over Silence: Pieta House encourages people to reach out this Christmas
"If you are feeling low, it can be harder to seek out that support and connection."
Pieta House is hoping to shine a light on mental health this Christmas with a new campaign, Hope Over Silence.
On Thursday, November 26, the charity is encouraging people to light a candle in their window as a sign of hope for those who might be struggling in the lead up to Christmas.
According to organisers, the campaign aims to break the stigma around lonely nights, and encourages people to make meaningful connections this festive season.
"With dark nights can come dark thoughts and particularly at this time of year, it can pose a real challenge to our mental health so supporting friends, family members and colleagues is important," they said.
"People are naturally social. They like conversation and they like to feel supported and to be part of a community, but if you are feeling low, it can be harder to seek out that support and connection."
Supporting the campaign is singer Mary Black, who said that reaching out over Christmas may be more important this year than ever before.
“This festive period is particularly fraught with anxiety for many people with health and financial worries," she said.
"Trying to navigate the new normal can be very difficult in these challenging times. We know that Christmas will be different this year, but we can still ensure we stay connected and speak up, to ensure hope – over silence.”
Sinead Price, Pieta Co-Director of Fundraising and Marketing added: “For many people, Christmas is a happy time to connect and celebrate with others.
"But it can also be a particularly difficult time for many people who may be suffering due to bereavement, financial issues, loneliness or the current Covid pandemic that can in turn lead to an increase in stress or anxiety.
"The demand for Pieta’s free 24-hour helpline is particularly high during December because the reality is that Christmas can be a lonely and isolating time of year. The intensity of the Christmas season can amplify feelings of hopelessness and despair."
You can find out more, or make a donation to Pieta House, here.