Supporting Sandwell residents on "Blue Monday" - and every day
Published 13th January 2023
This Monday (16 January) is known as Blue Monday, as it is said by some to be the most depressing day of the year.
The weather may be dire and gloomy, bank accounts may be low, and you may be recovering after a period of over indulgence, but Sandwell Council will continue to support residents on this and every other day.
While it is normal for us all to experience periods of low mood throughout our lives, feeling depressed or persistently low is often linked to more complex issues. Domestic abuse and trauma can have a severe and lasting impact on mental and physical health both for adults and children. It can often be the main factor in the development of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems, and can contribute to self-harm, eating disorders and substance misuse, as well as increasing risk of suicide.
Domestic abuse is the most common cause of depression amongst women and abused women are four times more likely to experience depression than women who are not abused.
Visit our domestic abuse support webpages for advice on services that can help anyone experiencing domestic abuse.
Councillor Danny Millard, Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said:
“Domestic abuse isn’t always physical, emotional abuse can be just as devastating and can happen to anyone, and anyone can be an abuser. Sandwell Council works with a range of partners throughout the year to help those experiencing domestic abuse. If domestic abuse is happening to you, it’s important that that you tell someone – you don’t have to wait for an emergency to find help.”
Sandwell’s Public Health team has recently launched a new interactive text messaging service. Hello Sandwell is using signs on lamp posts in busy High Street areas to invite people to text in about the type of support they need. The scheme offers signposting around four key public health topics: Sandwell is supporting residents with the cost of living advice campaign, Warm Spaces, mental health and improving health and wellbeing.
Conversations can be started by just scanning the QR code or sending a text message to the address on the lamp post sign or poster.
Councillor Suzanne Hartwell, Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, Social Care and Health, said:
This can be a worrying time of year for many people and here at Sandwell we are determined to be there for residents and help them through any challenges they may be facing. The first step is to get help, so I would urge people to reach out to the council’s teams or one of the many voluntary and charity organisations that are there to help.”
Visit our Healthy Sandwell website for more information on mental health support available.
You can also visit the council’s Supporting Sandwell online hub for more information about financial wellbeing and other support available.
Here’s a list of some of the other organisations you can talk to:
Mental health support
Black Country Mental Health Helpline - 24/7 mental health support line which is available for Black Country residents of all ages 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please call freephone 0800 008 6516 or text message 07860 025 281.
Sandwell Healthy Minds is a free NHS service that provides psychological therapy for people experiencing mental ill health such as low mood, depression, anxiety and stress. You can self-refer via Sandwell Healthy Minds online or speak to your GP.
Samaritans - Call for free 24/7 on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website for further advice and information.
Papyrus (HOPELINEUK for Young People)
Are you, or is a young person you know, not coping with life? For confidential suicide prevention advice contact HOPELINEUK on freephone 0800 068 4141 (9am – midnight all year round) or text message 07860 039 967.
Kaleidoscope Sanctuary hub
Freephone 0800 008 6516 (Monday to Friday 6pm – 11pm; Saturday & Sunday 12noon – 11pm)
Cruse Bereavement Care
Freephone 0808 808 1677
(Usual hours: Monday & Friday 9.30am – 5pm, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 9.30am – 8pm, Weekends 10am – 2pm)
Tough Enough To Care (Local men’s support group)
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS)
0300 111 5065 (Monday and Tuesday 9am – 5pm)
Sandwell Council’s Housing Solutions Team - call 0121 368 1166, Option 2 for Housing Solutions or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Domestic abuse support
Anyone who is suffering abuse should report it to the police on 101 or, in an emergency, always call 999.
People can seek specialist support from Black Country Women’s Aid on 0121 552 6448, which is available 24 hours a day or text/WhatsApp on 07384 466 181 (9am-9pm Monday-Friday). You can speak to an advisor on webchat (Black Country Women’s Aid supports female and male victims of domestic abuse).
Alternatively, there is a service for men and boys who have experienced domestic abuse, rape and sexual abuse. Contact Ask Marc by phone (0121 289 6402), email or visit Ask Marc online for more information.
Birmingham LGBT Centre can also provide a range of support services for LGBT victims.
You can also contact Sandwell Council’s Housing Solutions Team on 0121 368 1166, Option 2 for Housing Solutions or email email@example.com