Brew Monday v Blue Monday
Blue Monday – the exploitation of mental health?
The controversy surrounding ‘Blue Monday’ is an interesting one. It was first described as ‘the most depressing day of the year’ as part of a marketing strategy to help sell more holidays by a UK travel company in 2005.¹ It was claimed that factors such as average daylight hours, debt levels, temperature and the number of days until the next bank holiday meant that the 3rd Monday of every year was the day with the highest ‘depression factor‘.
Others have labelled this as nonsense. Certainly the shorter, colder and darker days, along with the lack of Christmas lights and the economic after effects of the festive season and pressures of new years resolutions can make January feel particularly gloomy. However, clinical depression is not just feeling low for one day a year. There is also a danger in creating a one size fits all model for mental health. Not everyone experiences low mood and depression in the same way, or for the same reasons.
Whether intentional or accidental, this minimisation of mental health as part of a commercial marketing strategy can certainly leave a sour taste in your mouth.
Brew Monday – how to start a conversation about mental health
The Samaritans have suggested that the 3rd Monday in January should instead be labelled ‘Brew Monday’, a day for encouraging people to reach out to friends, family or colleagues for support or to offer support over a tea and chat. Of course, this doesn’t have to only happen on Monday 16th January 2023 with a hot drink – it can be done on any day, and anyway.
Here is some advice from the Time to Talk Day 2023 campaign about how you can start a conversation with someone about mental health:
- Talk to a friend about a celebrity who has spoken openly about mental health
- Tell someone you appreciate what they’ve done for you
- Simply ask someone how they’re feeling – and if you take the time to ask twice you might get a more honest answer
Posted on: 12th January 2023