North Herts and Stevenage Samaritans aim to turn 'blue Monday' into Brew Monday
PUBLISHED: 08:30 18 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:26 18 January 2019
Samaritans are calling on people to banish the blues on what is considered the most depressing day of the year, by having a chat and a cuppa with others.
The third Monday in January is dubbed ‘blue Monday’ due to the often bleak weather conditions and the fact many people are struggling financially until pay day, following a Christmas overspend.
The Samaritans’ North Herts and Stevenage branch, based in Hitchin’s Nun’s Close, is appealing to people to turn this concept on its head by getting together with friends, family or workmates and having a chat over a brew.
Volunteers from the Samaritans branch will be at Hitchin and Stevenage railway stations from about 6.45am to 10am on Monday, chatting to commuters and handing out free tea bags.
The branch currently has just under 100 volunteers helping to answer some of the five million calls for help the Samaritans responds to nationally every year from people having a tough time.
The branch also provides support through awareness talks and displays at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital, schools and community events.
Branch director Gill McLearnon said: “Loneliness is one of the main reasons people contact Samaritans, so getting together for a brew with friends can provide a lift on what is meant to be one of the most difficult days of the year.”
Ian Stevens, Network Rail’s suicide prevention programme manager, said: “Brew Monday is a great opportunity for the rail industry to show its support for Samaritans and the great work they do in helping people up and down the country.
“Millions of people use the rail network every day and if through this campaign we can encourage them to talk about their problems over a cup of tea, we will have made a significant contribution to their lives and to the lives of those around them.”
For more about Brew Monday visit samaritans.org/brewmonday.
Samaritans offer emotional support by phone, email, text or face-to-face at its 201 branches.
Call Samaritans for free anytime on 116 123 – this number won’t show up on your phone bill – or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To make an appointment to see a trained volunteer in person, call 01462 455333.
To make a donation visit samaritans.org/donate.