There are lots of reasons why Christmas may not be a happy time for everyone, and it can be especially difficult for those who are away from family and friends and feel lonely or isolated. Remember that feelings of loneliness at University during Christmas are completely normal. If you do find yourself feeling despair, there’s support available. If you experience thoughts of harming yourself, you can call Papyrus on 0800 068 4141, or Samaritans on 116 123, for confidential advice and support.

As part of the University Suicide Prevention and Response Plan, it’s important that we start by tackling the stigma surrounding suicide. The Samaritans have produced a helpful guide on understanding the myths about suicide, and we encourage our students to read it to gain a deeper knowledge of how we can all approach suicide prevention.

Throughout Christmas, if you need a friendly chat about how you’re feeling, you can call the 24-hour Student Wellbeing Support Line on 0800 970 5020.  You can also access our SilverCloud and Togetherall online support programmes.

Some helpful self-care tips if you're feeling lonely or sad at Christmas:

  • plan something for each day and try to involve others if you can. Even if it’s just popping into town or getting coffee, make sure you have something to look forward to and distract yourself. Make friends with other people on campus and attend the student events running throughout Christmas
  • speak with friends and family either in person or using technology
  • try something new to stimulate your brain and reduce negative thoughts, such as going somewhere new to walk, reading a new book, or watching a film you’ve not seen before
  • exercise: get fresh air, explore new places, and enjoy the cold weather
  • get creative with decorating, cooking or painting: any hobby that gets your creative mind going and takes away the unpleasant negative thoughts and feelings