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Home   Kent   News   Article

Fresh hope for those facing loneliness and depression at new year, according to NHS

31 December 2013
by Thom Morris

The NHS is reminding people that while the festive season is a time to be jolly, for some it can be anything but.

For those already coping with serious problems like the loss of a job, money worries, bereavement or the end of a relationship, the festivities and increased drinking can make them feel even more depressed.

That is why NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group, which plans and pays for the bulk of the area’s health services, is reminding people that help is at hand.

Many people are stressed or depressed at this time of year

Many people are stressed or depressed at this time of year

GP Dr Liz Lunt, who leads on mental health, said: “Most people look forward to Christmas. But for some, it can be an unhappy and dangerous time. Suicides for both men and women increase at this time of the year.

“Talking to friends and family is one of the best things to do when you are feeling down.

"But if everyone seems too busy to talk or pay attention, you can end up feeling more isolated than ever.”

Dr Lunt, who works at The Oaks surgery at Swanley, warned: “If the way you feel is affecting your everyday life, it is important to seek help. It could make a big difference.”

Woman depressed. Library picture

Woman depressed. Library picture

People affected by anxiety, depression or other common mental health problems may be eligible for free NHS talking therapy.

They can refer themselves using the Kent and Medway Live It Well website at or they can talk to their GP.

"If the way you feel is affecting your everyday life, it is important to seek help. It could make a big difference" - Dr Liz Lunt

There is also 24-hour confidential emotional support and guidance for Kent and Medway from the Mental Health Matters helpline on 0800 107 0160.

Staff are trained to provide help over the phone and have details of other local and national services.

The Samaritans has confidential support for anyone feeling down, depressed or anxious.

Call them any time of the day or night on 08457 909090 or e-mail

Visit to find your nearest branch for a face-to-face talk.

Click here for more news from Kent.

Click here for more news from around the county.

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