HCML banishes ‘Blue Monday’ in support of the Samaritan’s #BrewMonday

Today, the third Monday in January and often referred to as ‘Blue Monday’, is generally thought of as the most difficult day of the year. But the Samaritans are working to banish the blues and encourage everyone to get together with friends, family and colleagues for #BrewMonday. We’re supporting Brew Monday with our own catch ups over a cuppa (or Cappuccino, Chai Latte and Rooibus Tea – whatever takes our fancy!) to raise awareness and funds for the Samaritans who support anyone who is struggling to cope.  

Our CEO, Nick Delaney, is a volunteer for the Samaritans: "Through my work as a Samaritan listening volunteer, I know first-hand the very difficult and distressing circumstances that so many people in our society are having to deal with.  

Samaritans don't give advice, we can't solve callers' problems but in that moment of connection we can give people our full attention, truly listen to what they need to say and help them share and explore their feelings in a way that, for whatever reason, they aren't otherwise able to do.” 

Blue Monday the truth behind the myth 

We know that January can be a difficult month for many reasons. Christmas is behind us, we may be facing money worries, it’s cold and try as we might, some of the New Year’s Resolutions we made are already slipping. But the concept of ‘the most difficult day of the year’ is really a myth. In 2005, psychologist and life coach Dr Cliff Arnall came up with a formula to pinpoint the worst day of the year. This idea of the ‘worst day of the year’ was used as part of a marketing campaign for a travel company.  

The truth is that the formula is neither scientific nor statistically valid. It doesn’t matter what day it is – we all have good and bad days – reaching out to others and making sure they’re ok is what’s important.   

Personal injury and psychological injury 

For those who have been affected by personal injury, the impact is often not just physical, but mental as well. This may be as a direct result of an accident, or the impact of an accident, for example, where the injury stops someone from working or engaging in activities in the way they did before the incident. Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or chronic fatigue are just some of the conditions that can have an extremely debilitating effect on the lives of the injured party and on those around them too. Mind report that in any given week in England 4 in 100 people are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. This can be as a result of varying reasons, from being involved in a car accident, to what is known as ‘birth trauma’ where there may have been complications with labour or traumatic experiences during birth.  

Depression is a common condition for those who have sustained acquired brain injuries (ABI). Headway UK encourage people with ABI to talk to others, avoid isolation and engage in activity.  

Work-related stress, depression and anxiety 

According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) in stats published by the HSE at the end of last year, in 2020/21, work-related stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 50% of all work-related ill-health.  

Starting a conversation is the first step. And what easier way to do that than by taking a quick break and engaging with colleagues. The more often you do it, the easier it becomes to speak out.  

As Nick says, “For lots of people who ring Samaritans their difficulties are made worse because they're lonely and isolated or don't have anyone else they feel they can talk to. That's why Brew Monday is such an important concept, encouraging people to reach out and connect with people they care about and spend 10 minutes over a cuppa really listening. HCML is proud to support Samaritans and we hope that you will feel able to do the same." 

You can find out more about #Brew Monday and get involved by visiting the Samaritan’s website