Christmas tree up yet? Had a few cards drop through the letterbox this morning? Making the most of cyber week shopping deals?

Some of us may be feeling excited about Christmas 2021, but for many the festive period presents a multitude of challenges. The expectation and expense can make it a time of high stress. Feelings of loneliness, sadness and isolation can be intensified. Experiences of last Christmas, during the coronavirus restrictions, may affect how some will be feeling about this Christmas.

All in all, Christmas can be a hard time of year to navigate for lots of people, for many different reasons. It can make existing problems feel worse and add new ones.

Mind provides some invaluable tips for coping during Christmas built around the following:

  • Be gentle, generous and patient with yourself
  • Plan ahead
  • Manage relationships
  • Look after yourself
  • Talking to other people
  • Get support

For those employers that we work with, the good news is that they’ve already put support in place, so they have a framework that they can connect their team to, no matter what help they may need.

BHSF customers who have the BHSF Connect App for example already appreciate that this puts essential services at the fingertips of a workforce to help them manage their emotional, financial and physical wellbeing, vital during such a challenging time of year and when there may be more pressure to access services.

It connects employees to the following services:

  • 24/7 access to a GP
  • Confidential helpline for support with counselling and emotional matters
  • Smarter spending – discounts and special offers on hundreds of well-known brands
  • Discounted gym membership and nutrition advice.
  • An online health checker with advice on healthy eating and exercise plans.
  • Comprehensive care and special needs support for employees with care responsibilitites
  • Access to private medical specialists
  • Tips for cyber safety and an email scanning service
  • Expert and practical domestic and family legal advice 24/7 365 days
  • Impartial and confidential debt and welfare benefits support

So, as we head to in to full festive frenzy, we’re reaching out to our customers to encourage them to do the same by reminding their teams that they are not alone thanks to these valuable mechanisms of support.

Find out more about the BHSF range of services and support here 

And if you don’t currently have any support in place and you want to find some, there are a few ways that you can immediately do this:

Call Samaritans on 116 123 (freephone). They’re always open.

Text SHOUT to 85258. This is a free 24/7 crisis text service run by Shout.

Or check out a range of organisations who can support your mental health or help with practical problems:


Beat – offers information and advice on eating disorders

0808 801 0677


National Domestic Abuse Helpline – Free 24-hour helpline for women who have experienced domestic abuse and violence, with all female advisors.

0808 2000 247


Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) – Emotional and practical support and local groups for anyone bereaved or affected by suicide

0300 111 5065


Switchboard – Listening services, information and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

0300 330 0630


The Trussell Trust – Emergency food and support for people in need. Includes a searchable list of local foodbanks.