Blue to Brew Monday
I can't believe we are still seeing the damaging misconceptions and trivialisation of depression being spread by the myth of 'Blue Monday'.
For those that might not be aware back in 2005 a travel company wanted to sell some more holidays, so they found or collected data focused on finance, weather and what they called 'wellbeing'. This information was used to create an 'equation' which implied the third Monday in January was the most depressing day of the year. And so maybe a great time to look at, plan or book a holiday.
Since 2005 Scientist and Wellbeing Practitioners have dismissed the idea of this one day/ date being the most depressing day of the year as baseless; with many mental health charities now actively campaigning against the generalisations and inaccuracies of 'Blue Monday'.
However the day has remained in use/ the public eye, because it can be used by those who only have a passing desire to talk about mental health. It can be rolled out for their one or two mental health days a year. That said I have seen mental health charities use 'Blue Monday' as if its a true fact. So maybe there's just a huge lack of education round this.
More recently, in 2016, the national charity Mind stated "Blue Monday contributes to damaging misconceptions about depression and trivialises an illness that can be life threatening. 1 in 6 people will experience depression in their life. It can be extremely debilitating with common symptoms including inability to sleep, seeing no point in the future, feeling disconnected from other people and experiencing suicidal thoughts."
"There is no creditable evidence to suggest that one day in particular can increase the risk of people feeling depressed. There are of course certain things that may make people feel down at this time of year; such ascots-christmas financial strains, broken New Years resolutions, bad weather and short daylight hours. However, depression is not just a one day event."
Since 2016 many mental health charities have started to repurpose 'Blue Monday' awareness or focus to use it as a prompt for conversations. Under the banner of Brew Monday, first used (I believe) by Samaritans.
Brew Monday has also seen many discussions about the generalisations and inaccuracies that can be spread about mental health illness.
Today, Brew Monday, is a great opportunity to talk, to listen, to be with, a friend, family member or colleague. Have a chat about how you are, and how they are.
Maybe start with "What's going on with you?" or "How have you been?"
If you would like some information today, or after today check out Samaritans or Mind, or likely many other mental health focused charities, organisations, or projects.
Find out more about Brew Monday and the support available:
Mind - https://www.mind.org.uk
Samaritans - https://www.samaritans.org
Local Minds - https://www.mind.org.uk/about-us/local-minds/
About depression - https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/about-depression/