Over a quarter of those in the UK feel worse this winter than the one before

News item posted: 17 March 2017

More than a quarter of people (27.8%) feel worse this winter than they did the winter before, indicating that Britain's mood is not improving.

The findings are based on a survey released by health and social care organisation Turning Point.

The survey also shows that almost a third of people (32%) planned to cope with the pressures of Christmas by putting on a brave face and pretending to be ok, despite the fact that they were not.

Additionally, only 12.5% of people questioned said they would share their feelings with someone else at this time of year in an attempt to cope with the pressures of Christmas. The age group most likely to share their feelings were those in the 16- 24 year age bracket while those over the age of 55 were the least likely age group to share their feelings with someone else.

On a positive note, the number of people who said that they would drink more than they normally would to cope with the pressures of Christmas is down. In 2012, just over 9% of people said they would drink more than they normally would to cope compared to 4.8% of people in 2013. The age group most likely to drink to cope with the pressures of Christmas were those in the 35-44 year age bracket while the age group least likely to drink to cope with the pressure were those in the 16 - 24 year age bracket.

Dr Felix Davies, Managing Director for Mental Health Services at Turning Point said;

"More than a quarter of the people surveyed said that they feel worse this winter than the one before and many are likely to cope with the stresses of this time by pretending to be ok. This is a real concern and we must create a situation where people are confident and comfortable seeking help to support their mental health and wellbeing when they need to.

We also need to ensure that the right support is easy to find and available when people seek it. We know from the services Turning Point provides that many people find this time of year very hard. We'd therefore recommend to anyone feeling low or anxious picking up the phone and talking to someone, whether it be a friend, family member, GP or a talking therapies service like those Turning Point provide. We need to ensure that people of all ages are aware of talking therapies and that services are available in all areas across the country so that no-one is left to cope alone."

Claire* who was supported by Rightsteps, a Turning Point talking therapies service said; "I found all of my appointments were of great help in understanding my problems. My therapist was great, she let me talk without interrupting me, then got me thinking about situations. I believe that I am now able to deal with situations that I would not have been able to cope with before coming to Turning Point."

*Name has been changed

ENDS

- Talking therapies, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) and Couple Therapy for Depression, are delivered as part of the government's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme (IAPT) http://www.iapt.nhs.uk/iapt/

- For all media enquiries please contact Laura Conn on laura.conn@turning-point.co.uk

- The 2013 survey was carried out by Opinion Matters for Turning Point between 13/12/2013 and 18/12/2013 with a sample of 2040 UK adults

- The 2012 survey was carried out by Opinion Matters for Turning Point between 01/11/2012 and 05/11/2012 with a sample of 1344 UK adults

- Turning Point is a social enterprise providing health and social care services for people with complex needs, including those affected by drug and alcohol misuse, mental health problems or those with a learning disability. For more information, please visit www.turning-point.co.uk