In the lead-up to Christmas, the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative (the Collaborative) wants to spread the word that there are plenty of support services available during the holidays.
"Christmas can be a difficult time for some people,” said Dr Alex Hains, Regional Manager of the Collaborative.
“There’s pressure to feel social and happy, but many people experience stress or sadness during the holidays. This is especially true for those who might be remembering the loss of a loved one.”
“That’s why it’s important to check in with yourself and others – including family, friends, colleagues or neighbours – and see how they’re going,” Dr Hains added.
If you or someone you care about is in need of support during the holidays, help is just a phone call away. The following helplines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week*, including public holidays.
Lifeline – 13 11 14 (Includes text and webchat options.)
Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511
MensLine – 1300 78 99 78
Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
1800 RESPECT – 1800 737 732
QLife – 1800 184 527 (For the LGBTIQ+ community. *Open 3pm to midnight every day and includes a webchat option.)
For a more detailed list of helplines, go to www.suicidepreventioncollaborative.org.au/need-help.
Places to go for Christmas lunch
Loneliness and isolation can have a serious impact on people of all ages during the Christmas period. Older people and people experiencing homelessness or family conflict are particularly vulnerable.
If you or someone you care about is looking to share a meal on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the following free events are happening in the Illawarra Shoalhaven:
- Christmas Eve Lunch at Sublime Point
When: 24 December, 11:30am – 2:30pm
Where: Sublime Point lookout
Details: Bus pick up from various points at 10am (see the Illawarra Drug & Alcohol Service reception for details).
- Christmas Day Brunch at Darcy House
When: 25 December, 9am – 10:30am
Where: Darcy House, Lot 1, Old Port Road, Port Kembla
Details: Christmas Day Brunch hosted by Need a Feed at Darcy House. Kids welcome!
- Christmas Day Brunch at Ratha’s
When: 25 December, 10:30am – 12pm
Where: 84 Central Avenue, Oak Flats
Details: Families, couples and individuals welcome at this inclusive event.
- Christmas Day Lunch at Uniting Church
When: 25 December, 12pm – 2pm
Where: 116 Crown Street, Wollongong
Details: Christmas Day Lunch at the Uniting Church on the Mall, Wollongong.
- Where to go for local support over the Christmas period
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