Supporting Sandwell residents on Blue Monday … or should that be Brew Monday?

A green mug next to a book on a table in front of a window, with steam coming from the liquid in the mug.Every year this Monday (16 January) is known as Blue Monday, as it is said to be the most depressing day of the year. However, we prefer the Samaritans’ take on this theory … that it’s a total myth!

Blue Monday is just a marketing gimmick that was invented in 2005 to help a travel company sell holidays. There’s no scientific evidence behind the claim and the Samaritans feel that it’s time to reject the unhelpful mental health stereotypes that it perpetuates.

Today the suicide-prevention charity is encouraging people to celebrate #BrewMonday instead. Perhaps reach out to a friend for a cuppa or a chat and spend time catching up with the people you care about.

Bad days can happen on any day of the year and they have nothing to do with a random day in January. However, if you happen to be feeling blue today or you know someone who is, it’s important to reach out. Sandwell Council offers help and support to residents on this and every other day.

It’s normal to experience periods of low mood sometimes, especially at this time of year when the weather is gloomy, bank accounts may be low, and you may be recovering after a period of overindulgence but feeling depressed or persistently low is often linked to more complex issues.  

Sandwell’s Public Health team has recently launched a new interactive text messaging service that provides a different approach to engage with Sandwell residents to improve their health and wellbeing. Hello Sandwell uses signs on lamp posts in busy high street areas to invite people to text in about the type of support they need and receive information on support available.

The scheme offers signposting around four key public health topics: 

  • Supporting residents with the cost of living 
  • Warm Spaces
  • Mental health
  • Improving health and wellbeing.

Conversations can be started by just scanning the QR code or sending a text message to the address on the lamp post sign or poster. 

Councillor Suzanne Hartwell, Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, Social Care and Health, said: “This can be a worrying time of year for many people and here at Sandwell we are determined to be there for residents and help them through any challenges they may be facing. The first step is to get help, so I would urge people to reach out to the council’s teams or one of the many voluntary and charity organisations that are there to help.”

Visit the Healthy Sandwell website for more information on the mental health support available.

You can also visit the council’s Supporting Sandwell online hub for more information about financial wellbeing and other support available.

If you’re a Sandwell employer and would like to support your team to have good mental and physical health our Sandwell workplace wellbeing page rounds up resources to help you.


Below is a list of some of the other organisations you or your employees can talk to for mental health support:


Call for free 24/7 on 116 123 or visit for further advice and information.

Black Country Mental Health Helpline 

24/7 mental health support line which is available for Black Country residents of all ages 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please call freephone 0800 008 6516 or text message 07860 025281.

Sandwell Healthy Minds 

A free NHS service that provides psychological therapy for people experiencing mental ill health such as low mood, depression, anxiety and stress. You can self-refer via Sandwell Healthy Minds or speak to your GP.

Papyrus (HOPELINEUK for Young People)

Are you, or is a young person you know, not coping with life? For confidential suicide prevention advice contact HOPELINEUK on freephone 0800 068 4141 (9am – midnight all year round) or text message 07860 039967.

Kaleidoscope Sanctuary hub

Freephone 0800 008 6516 (Monday to Friday 6pm – 11pm. Saturday and Sunday 12pm – 11pm).

Cruse Bereavement Care

Freephone 0808 808 1677 (Monday and Friday 9.30am – 5pm, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9.30am – 8pm, Weekends 10am – 2pm).

Tough Enough To Care 

A local men’s support group aimed at men of all ages who fall into the trap of having to act macho instead of talking about feelings. The main aim of the group is to prevent male suicide.

Email: or call 07572 314953.

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS)

Call 0300 111 5065 (Monday and Tuesday 9am – 5pm).

Sandwell Council’s Housing Solutions Team

Call 0121 368 1166, Option 2 for Housing Solutions or email

Domestic abuse support

Anyone who is suffering abuse should report it to the police on 101 or, in an emergency, always call 999.

People can seek specialist support from Black Country Women’s Aid on 0121 552 6448, which is available 24 hours a day or text/WhatsApp on 07384 466 181 (9am-9pm Monday-Friday). 

You can speak to an advisor on webchat at

Black Country Women’s Aid supports female and male victims of domestic abuse.

Alternatively, there is a service for men and boys who have experienced domestic abuse, rape and sexual abuse. Contact Ask Marc by phone on 0121 289 6402, email or visit for more information.

Birmingham LGBT Centre provides a range of support services for LGBT victims.