Tuesday 23 July 2019

How the Samaritans aim to save lives by turning Blue Monday into Brew Monday

The Brew Monday event aims to tackle the problem of loneliness – particularly among young people.

(Samaritans)
(Samaritans)

By Alistair Mason, Press Association

Something as simple as a cup of tea and a chat can make a big difference to someone experiencing loneliness.

That’s the message from the Samaritans as they attempt to turn Blue Monday into Brew Monday.

The third Monday in January is often described as Blue Monday and suggested to be the most difficult day in the year.

So the charity has launched its #BrewMonday initiative to encourage people to take time to talk to a friend who might be lonely over a cup of tea.

Samaritans volunteers were out and about at train stations around the country, giving out free teabags and information about their service.

Meanwhile police and fire services are also getting involved, sending out the message that it’s “okay not to be okay”.

A video released by the charity features Dr Alex George from Love Island and radio DJ Gemma Cairney urging people to reach out.

Fellow celebrities including comedian Matt Lucas and boxer Audley Harrison also got involved to spread the word about an event which is specifically designed to raise awareness of loneliness among young people.

Research by the Samaritans among 18 to 24-year-olds suggests loneliness plays a significant role in suicidal thoughts among young people.

Samaritans chief executive Ruth Sutherland said: “For too long, loneliness in young people has not been taken seriously. It’s time to put this right and listen to what they are telling us.

“Local areas desperately need more funding for appropriate services and opportunities across our communities that support young people to be listened to and to get any help they need.”

And the campaign seemed to be having an immediate effect.

To find out more, head to the Samaritans website.

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