Brighten up Blue Monday
Blue Monday is the name given to the 'most depressing day of the year' which typically falls on the third Monday in January. However, for people with depression, everyday can feel like a 'blue Monday.' Here at AWARE, we are using Blue Monday as an opportunity to raise awareness of the illness of depression and help to breakdown the stigma by getting people talking about depression.
This year, on Blue Monday, mental health and depression charity, AWARE (formerly Aware Defeat Depression) has teamed up with businesses and schools across Northern Ireland in a bid to ‘Brighten up Blue Monday.’ It is asking participants to wear something yellow into the workplace and schools to bring vibrancy and colour into what can seem like a particularly dull day.
One company taking part in the initiative is one of Northern Ireland’s largest private sector employers, Firstsource. This global provider of business process outsourcing services currently employs more than 2,000 staff across three sites in Belfast and Derry/Londonderry.
Laura Hourcian, VP HR UK for Firstsource said; “We understand that a healthy workforce is a happy workforce. And, as a business we continually invest in our employees and provide a number of programmes that address mental health within the workplace. We are delighted to be working with AWARE to proactively help and support employees dealing with these issues.”
Every participant taking part is donating £2 to AWARE in order to allow the charity to carry out its vital work in helping the one in four local people who will suffer from a mental illness at some time in their life.
Teresa Sloan from AWARE said, “Although this is a recognised date in the calendar, for people suffering from stress, anxiety or depression any day of the year can feel like Blue Monday, therefore it’s important that you are aware of the most common symptoms of depression. These include tiredness, loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, loss of confidence and an increased or decreased apatite.'