Topics for this month:
6 ways to feel good over Christmas
Not everyone enjoys Christmas. If you’re worried about the season, Childline have got some advice to help you feel better:
- Take a break when you can
Even if it’s just 5 minutes, take time away from people or things that stress you out to go for a walk, listen to music or distract yourself.
- Plan time after Christmas
Plan what you’d like to do to feel better after Christmas and think about things you could do that you’ll look forward to.
- Talk to people you care about
Send messages to the people you love and share how your Christmas is going.
- Let your feelings out
Whether it’s writing things down, getting creative or doing something to calm yourself down, it can help to let how you’re feeling out in a healthy way.
- Keep in touch with people you can’t see
Arrange a time when you can catch up, even if it’s only for a few minutes. It can help as well to write down things you’d like to tell them when you can see each other again.
- Get help when you need it
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or down, we’re here to support you. You can talk to a Childline counsellor any time over the holidays.
For further information please visit: https://www.childline.org.uk/
Drink driving: How to keep safe this Christmas
December for many of us, is a time to raise a glass and be merry. But before you head out and enjoy the festivities, are you clear on the rules around drink driving?
How much is too much?
Drinking under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offence. If you are found guilty of drink driving you could be fined, banned from driving, or even imprisoned.
Legally, the drink driving limit in most areas of the UK is a blood alcohol level up to 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100ml of blood (in Scotland, it’s 50 milligrams).1 But, there isn’t an exact number of drinks this equates to, so it’s always safest not to drink any alcohol at all.
Your blood alcohol concentration can be affected by many different things. These include your weight, sex, what you’ve eaten and how quickly your body processes alcohol, as well as how much you’ve had to drink and when. It can be very different for different people and can also change for the same person from one day to the next.
There’s also no way of knowing whether that one pint or glass of wine will put you over the limit. Rather than trying to guess, and put your life or someone else’s at risk, it’s best not to take that risk at all.
Dangers of drink driving
An estimated 7,800 people were killed or injured in drink driving accidents in the UK in 2019. But the dangers of drink driving don’t only start once you’re over the legal limit. Alcohol – at any level – will start to impair your driving ability, putting you and others at risk. It can be easy to think you’re still in control after ‘just the one’ – but sadly the data doesn’t reflect that. Studies show that even just a small amount of alcohol can start affecting our reaction times, judgement, and ability to drive. And this happens well below the legal drink-driving limit.
Alcohol can also give us a false sense of confidence and make us more likely to take risks. So, while you may never dream of getting behind the wheel after a drink when you’re sober, it only takes one drink to cloud your judgement and decide that ‘short drive home’ is ok after all. Staying completely alcohol-free when you’re driving really is the best and safest option.
If you’ve got a festive dinner or Christmas party coming up, a little bit of planning can make life a lot easier, so you can relax and focus on enjoying a safe and fun time out.
If you know there’s an occasion where you might want to drink, put plans in place well before to get yourself and others home safely, whether that’s appointing someone else to drive or just leaving the car at home. If you’re planning to drive, resolve not to drink at all that night. Don’t be tempted to have one or two – as this may be enough to put yourself and someone else at risk.
Tips to get home safe
- Decide on a designated driver to stay alcohol-free in your group of friends or family. If you have lots of fun events coming up with the same group, you could take it in turns.
- If you’re driving, use it as a chance to try some different alcohol-free drinks on offer. From alcohol-free beers and wines to mocktails, there’s never been so much choice. Many bars and pubs offer free or discounted soft drinks for designated drivers too.
- If you plan to take public transport, be sure of the bus or train schedule ahead of time.
- Taxis and private hire vehicles are also a great way to ensure you get home safe. You must book a private hire vehicle in advance but it’s also a good idea to book a taxi in advance and have the number or booking app stored in your phone. And don’t forget to make sure your phone is charged before you step out. Alternatively, make your way to a private hire vehicle booking office or a taxi rank.
The morning after
If you’ve had a few drinks the previous night, don’t forget that alcohol can continue to affect you the morning after you’ve been drinking too, so you may well still be over the drink-drive limit.
It usually takes an average of about an hour for your body to clear one unit of alcohol once it’s been fully absorbed. But this can vary and there’s no way of telling for sure. Even if you feel fine, you could still be over the limit. The safest and best advice is to avoid alcohol completely the night before you have to drive.
Further advice and information visit: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/
Mental Health First Aid
JTM’s Pastoral Coordinator, Janine, has been on a 2-day First Aid Mental Health course this month with GMLPF, to help her in her role and being the point of contact for staff and learners who are experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress.
This interaction could range from having an initial conversation through to supporting the person to get the appropriate referral and specialist help.
Janine felt that some of the information from the training would also be valuable to share with all staff, learners and employers, to raise awareness of mental health first aid and how you can also help someone in a crisis.
Please see the attached slides for more information.
What is the hub of hope?
The Hub of Hope is the country’s first nationwide mental health database, which brings help and support together in one place. The app will help people to find much needed support using their phone’s location to find key services and organisations with their area.
The Hub of Hope is a completely free and confidential national mental health service. You can also text HOPE to 85258 if you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need urgent support.
Hope is really for everyone
The services and support listed on the Hub of Hope are not only for when things become unbearable – a crisis point. They are also for those times when we notice we are starting to struggle, or when we need extra support as we start to emerge from a particularly difficult time.
The Hub of Hope also lists support and services for family members and friends to enable them to find help for themselves, as well as for the person they are supporting. We recognise that the wellbeing of each member of an interconnected family or community is dependent on the wellbeing of all its members.
Find more information by visiting: https://hubofhope.co.uk/
What is phishing? Phishing can be defined as untargeted, mass emails sent to many people asking for sensitive information (such as bank details) or encouraging them to visit a fake website. Criminals send phishing emails to millions of people, asking for sensitive information (like bank details), or containing links to bad websites. Some phishing emails may contain viruses disguised as harmless attachments, which are activated when opened.
Spotting a phishing email is becoming increasingly difficult, and even the most careful user can be tricked. Here are some tell-tale signs that could indicate a phishing attempt.
- Is the email addressed to you by name, or does it refer to ‘valued customer’, or ‘friend’ or ‘colleague’? This can be a sign that the sender does not actually know you, and that it is part of a phishing scam.
- Others will try and create official looking emails by including logos and graphics. Is the design (and quality) what you’d expect?
- Does the email contain a veiled threat that asks you to act urgently? Be suspicious of words like ‘send these details within 24 hours’ or ‘you have been a victim of crime, click here immediately’.
- Look at the sender’s name and email address. Does it sound legitimate, or is it trying to mimic someone you know? Some JTM users recently received phishing emails mentioning ‘jarvis-eu’ in the subject or wording of the email, which was an attempt by criminals to trick people into disclosing their account details.
- Your bank (or any other official source) should never ask you to supply personal information in an email. If you need to check, call them directly.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It’s most unlikely that someone will offer you designer trainers for £10, or codes to access films for free.
If you know that you have received a phishing email, simply delete it straightaway and don’t click on any attachments or the links it may contain.
Click here for more information on phishing
Christmas social media safety cards
Ineqe Safeguarding Group have put together several safety cards for the most popular social media platforms:
Each safety card outlines how to set accounts to private via the privacy settings, how to block someone and steps on how to report.
Please view the safety cards that are attached to this bulletin and forward to anyone who may benefit from them.
Click here for the safety cards
Poppy Playtime is a horror video game, involving an unnamed protagonist investigating a mystery in an abandoned toy factory. As the player, you roam around the factory and collect VHS tapes to solve the mystery of what happened.
You must solve puzzles while trying to survive the ‘vengeful toys’ left behind. The factory’s most popular toy Huggy Wuggy – a giant, horrifying blue creature with bulging eyes, wide red lips, and long limbs – actively follows you around as you try to complete the game. He appears in the dark unexpectedly to try and catch you. If you get caught, Huggy Wuggy bears his wide and sinister grin and eats you.
The game features frightening images and themes that are paired with child-friendly items. This may be especially upsetting to children who have not yet developed the resilience to deal with disturbing content.
Due to the popularity of the game, YouTubers are naturally devoting a lot of their content to it, bringing it to the attention of younger people who follow their channels.
There are multiple risks that can arise from children and young people being exposed to frightening content before they are prepared:
- Added anxiety and stress – Children and young people are still growing and learning. They may not be at a level of emotional maturity that would be able to process frightening content, even if it is intentional. Horror games could hamper that growth by creating unnecessary anxiety and stress.
- Intrusive thoughts – Everyone has the ‘thing that goes bump in the night.’ If children play this game or watch it, the Bogeyman could easily be replaced with characters like Huggy Wuggy. This could cause children to lose focus or sleep and could interrupt family rest cycles.
- New fears – The manipulation of child-friendly items into threatening characters exploits the sense of security a child would feel around these things. They may suddenly be terrified of something that had never been a worry before.
You can read more about the content of Poppy Playtime here:
Useful helplines over the Christmas period:
|Organisation||What do they do?||Telephone number(s)||Website|
|NSPCC||The leading children’s charity in the UK, specialising in child protection and dedicated to protecting children today to prevent abuse tomorrow. We’re the only UK children’s charity with statutory powers, which means we can take action to safeguard children at risk of abuse.||0808 800 5000||https://www.nspcc.org.uk/|
|Childline||Childline is a counselling service for children and young people||0800 1111||https://www.childline.org.uk/|
|Samaritans||Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout Great Britain and Ireland, often through their telephone helpline.||116 123||https://www.samaritans.org/|
|Shout||The UK’s first free, confidential, 24/7 text support service. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and need mental health support.||Text 85258||https://giveusashout.org/|
|Mind||Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.||0300 123 3393||https://www.mind.org.uk/|
|No Panic||No Panic offers advice, support, recovery programs and help for people living with phobias, OCD and any other anxiety-based disorders.||0300 7729844||https://nopanic.org.uk/|
|Campaign against living miserably||CALM run a free and confidential helpline and webchat – open from 5pm to midnight every day, for anyone who needs to talk about life’s problems. They support those bereaved by suicide, through the Support After Suicide Partnership (SASP).||0800 58 58 58||https://www.thecalmzone.net/|
|Talk to Frank||Find out everything you need to know about drugs, their effects and the law. Talk to Frank for facts, support and advice on drugs and alcohol.||0300 123 6600||https://www.talktofrank.com/|
|National Debtline||National Debtline is a charity who give free and independent debt advice over the phone and online.||0808 808 4000||https://nationaldebtline.org/|
|Shelter||Free emergency helpline is open 365 days a year to answer calls from anyone struggling with a housing issue or homelessness.||0808 800 4444||https://england.shelter.org.uk|
|Refuge||You can speak to a member of the National Domestic Abuse Helpline team at any time, day or night. The Helpline adviser will offer confidential, non-judgmental information and expert support.||0808 2000 247||https://www.refuge.org.uk/|
|National Rape Crisis Helpline||Find a Rape Crisis Centre, get online emotional support, or access information and self-help tools.||0808 802 9999||https://rapecrisis.org.uk/|
|Cruse Bereavement Care||UK’s largest bereavement charity, which provide free care and bereavement counselling to people suffering from grief.||0808 808 1677||https://www.cruse.org.uk/|
|The Silver Line – Helpline for older people||The Silver Line operates the only confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year.||0800 4 70 80 90||https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/|