Mental Health charities have urged people to use alternative, happier hashtags on social media to defeat the downcast stigma surrounding Blue Monday.
Charities such as Mind, Rethink and Samaritans have promoted the campaigns #BlueAnyDay, #BrightMonday and #BrewMonday in an attempt to contest the misconception of mental health that is brought about by #BlueMonday.
Mental health charity, Rethink, have said Blue Monday doesn’t have to be a sombre affair and have encouraged people to wear bright colours instead.
Blue Monday is associated with the third Monday of January, considered the most depressing day of the year.
Similarly, mental-health research nurse at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Jo Higman, promoted @BloomingMonday which also wanted people to wear bright clothes on January 16 to raise awareness and money for mental health research.
— Jo Higman (@JoHigman) January 16, 2017
This tweet was a reference to the University of Nottingham’s research study into depression, Reboot.
The study is comparing the effectiveness of an already-available NHS support, Moodzone, and a new support website called Big White Wall.
Reboot are looking for 2000 people from Nottinghamshire who experience anxiety and/or depression to take part in the 6 month long study.
The NHS could look to put this in to practice if the findings are shown to be of beneficial.
Mental health charity Mind, see the Blue Monday trend as a dangerous myth, and want to dispel the misunderstanding that depression is just one day of the year.
Mind’s Head of Information, Stephen Buckley, said: “Blue Monday contributes to damaging misconceptions about depression and trivialises an illness that can be life threatening.”
This is something Jo Higman agrees with: “It [Blue Monday] trivialises or minimises depression, and uses it as a means of promoting goods and products.”
“For most, depression can’t be overcome by just buying a new thing.”
While the Samaritans agree that depression is an all-year-round condition, their recent cuppa campaign looks to get people chatting over brew about mental health.
Jo said: “It may seem insignificant, but it’s part of a wider campaign to get people talking about mental health.”
Samaritan volunteers were located across the country handing out Brew Monday teabags to passers-by in order to gain awareness and support for their mental health campaign, which has gained support from celebs such as Robbie Williams, ITV talk show Loose Women and comedian Vic Reeves.
If you are suffering from depression or anxiety and wish to take part in Uni of Nottingham’s Reboot study, you can find more information here: https://www.rebootnotts.com/about.