Feeling more depressed about the week ahead than usual? It could be because Monday, 19th January, is also known as ‘Blue Monday’. HeadsUp, Rehab’s mental health promotion project, which provides a 24-hour text support service and interactive website, is encouraging young people to beat ‘Blue Monday’ by promoting positive mental health and well-being.
The Monday of the last full week in January was designated ‘Blue Monday’ by Dr. Cliff Arnell in 2006, a psychologist formerly of Cardiff University and a specialist in seasonal disorders. He proposed a mathematical equation demonstrating that the combination of bad weather, Christmas debts, fading Christmas memories and broken New Year resolutions all contribute to making that Monday the most depressing day of the year.
Collette Ryan, HeadsUp Project Manager, comments: “The arrival of the New Year can be a source of renewed inspiration for people, however, as the excitement of the holiday season ebbs away, it can also pave the way for new worries for young people around money, relationships and the future. That is why it is crucial that they know that they can turn to HeadsUp when they need it most, for information and support, whether on Blue Monday or any other day of the year.”
Advice from HeadsUp on how to beat ‘Blue Monday’ is available by checking out the Self Help section of HeadsUp’s interactive website – www.headsup.ie. The section includes helpful tips and skills on how to manage everyday events better with modules developed by a leading psychiatrist and cognitive behaviour therapists on:
- Anxiety control training
- Helpful and unhelpful behaviours
- Noticing unhelpful thinking
- Changing unhelpful thinking
- Practical problem-solving
- Sleeping better
- Healthy living
- Staying well
Each module consists of an audio file, on screen graphics and a downloadable workbook and has been developed in order to enhance young people’s lifeskills and resilience and to help them to feel better about themselves and to manage their lives more effectively.
The website, which was developed with a panel of youth advisors, also includes a host of cutting-edge features including Mind Gym with lots of interactive games and ‘Art from the Heart’, along with discussion forums, information on support services, well-being tips, fact sheets, reviews and competitions.
In addition, those in need of help or support services can contact the HeadsUp text service free of charge by texting HEADSUP to 50424. The HeadsUp text service operated by Rehab and supported by Meteor provides information and advice on a number of areas including sexual health, sexuality, mental health, suicide, drugs, abuse and crisis. The free service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. HeadsUp Text recently announced details of an expansion of its service which now includes details of student support services at 26 colleges nationwide.