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Ben campaign highlights anxiety risks over Christmas

Automotive industry support service Ben is running a new campaign to support individuals to cope with anxiety during the festive season.

It may be ‘the season to be jolly’ for some, but for those suffering with mental health challenges like anxiety and depression Christmas can intensify their symptoms and issues, according to Mind. Research by the mental health charity has found around 1 in 10 people feel unable to cope at Christmas, rising to a third of people with a mental health problem (31%).

Ben says anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues people experience and, over the past 12 months, anxiety and depression have continued to be the top reasons why people contact Ben’s helpline. Anxiety and depression are also the most commonly searched for and read blog topics on Ben’s website, achieving thousands of unique visitors in the past year.

A big part of the festive season is socialising, parties and sometimes being with people we wouldn’t normally spend so much time with. For those with anxiety, socialising can be difficult, especially for people who have Social Anxiety Disorder. Social Anxiety Disorder means a person experiences extreme fear or anxiety triggered by social situations. The defining feature of Social Anxiety Disorder, also called social phobia, is intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation. Social Anxiety Disorder is one of the most common anxiety disorders and estimates of lifetime prevalence have been as high as 12%, compared with around 6% for generalised anxiety disorder.

Ben has launched new resources on its website to support people to understand and develop coping strategies, including during the Christmas period.

Rachel Clift, health & wellbeing director at Ben, said: “Christmas can be a very challenging time for those with anxiety and mental health issues. The pressure to socialise, going to Christmas parties and hosting events can be overwhelming for some. High expectations also come into play, as well as feeling under pressure to have the ‘perfect’ Christmas. Feeling like everyone around us is having fun when we’re not can also make things even harder. Additionally, the pressure to spend around Christmas time can mean it’s difficult for people to manage their money, with many ending up in debt and experiencing anxiety because of that.

“If you or a family dependent feel like this and are struggling with anxiety, you’re not alone… Ben is always here. You can visit our web page for more information or get in touch with us through our online chat or via our helpline if you need more support.”

Click here to visit Ben’s new web resources about anxiety.

Other resources:

Managing employee anxiety in the workplace article: click here

Anxiety at Christmas blog: click here

Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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