Feeling lonely is difficult at the best of times, yet over Christmas it can be even worse. For people experiencing mental health issues, this can be a particularly challenging time of year.
A recent survey by The Priority Group found that one in three men feel lonely at Christmas, with men between the age of 25 and 34 feeling the loneliest.
With this in mind, here are a few suggestions for places you can go in Wales over the holiday season.
Community lunch, Abergavenny
A traditional Christmas lunch will be taking place tomorrow at Abergavenny Community Centre. Organiser Lee Dobson, 33, from Abergavenny, said that one of the reasons he put on the event was to help people with mental health issues who may be feeling lonely over Christmas.
“This time of year is especially hard for people with mental health issues. It’s just to let people know that someone is thinking about them,” he said.
Lee said a festive lunch will be followed by a bit of music so people can hang around for some fun. There is no set charge for the lunch but people can pay whatever they can afford.
To book, call Lee on 07547 777 518 or email email@example.com.
When: Friday 23rd (tomorrow), 1pm
Where: Abergavenny Community Centre, The Old School, Park Street, Abergavenny, NP7 5YB
Christmas buffet, 4Winds Centre, Cardiff
The 4Winds describes itself as a user-led, open-access mental health resource. It is open seven days a week to provide support for people experiencing mental health problems.
On Christmas day the centre is putting on a free buffet for anyone who wants to drop by, although the centre encourages people to contact them ahead of time if possible to let them know you’re coming.
You can call 4Winds on (029) 20388144 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can check 4Wind’s newsletter for information on other events.
When: Sunday 25th, 1-5pm
Where: 4Winds Centre, 65 Clare Road, Grangetown, Cardiff, CF11 6QP
SHADE support group, Newport
SHADE is a self-help group for men and women who suffer from depression and anxiety. According to SHADE’s website, the group ‘provides a safe, supportive and respectful place to meet and talk with others who have depression’. The group meets twice a week for an informal chat and coffee.
You can also check SHADE’s website for details of other events.
When: Tuesday 27th, 7-9pm and Thursday 29th, 1-3pm
Where: Dan y Graig Church Meeting Room, Dan y Graig Road (off Tredegar Street), Risca, Newport, NP11 6DB
CALM helpline and webchat
If you can’t leave the house or simply don’t want to, there are still people you can contact if you’re feeling lonely or vulnerable.
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide. CALM run a free, confidential and anonymous helpline and webchat service for anyone who needs someone to talk to.
When: helpline and webchat open daily, 5pm-midnight
Where: check CALM’s website for details and contact.