Where can you get support at Christmas?

BHF helpline nurse

If you’re struggling over Christmas and New Year, there is help available for you.

Find out more details below about who you can speak to, how they can help, and what their Christmas opening hours are.


Remember that if you have chest pain or a health emergency call 999.

The Silver Line – 24/7 support

The Silver Line has a free, confidential helpline dedicated to helping older people, who may be feeling isolated, confused, or lonely. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 0800 4 70 80 90.

The helpline team can help with:

  • Information, friendship and advice
  • Offering regular friendship calls
  • Linking callers to local groups and services.

The Samaritans – 24/7 support

The Samaritans have a confidential helpline that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, which is free to phone. Call 116 123.

There is no typical phone call, and they can help with big or small problems, but common reasons people contact the Samaritans are:

Our online community

Join our online community HealthUnlocked to talk with other people affected by heart and circulatory diseases. You can find support and advice there 24/7 during the Christmas period. 

Age UK – 8am-7pm every day of the year

Age UK Advice is a free, confidential, national phone service for older people, their families, friends, carers and professionals. They have a team of expert advisers who will give you reliable information. Call 0800 055 6112.

The helpline can offer support and information on topics like:

  • Heating your home
  • Claiming benefits and retirement
  • Hospital stays and coping afterwards
  • Choosing a care home
  • General information and support for older people.

Cruse Bereavement Care - 9.30am-5pm weekdays, with extended hours to 8pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

The Cruse Bereavement Care helpline is staffed by trained bereavement volunteers, who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement. Call free 0808 808 1677.

The helpline is open 9.30am-5pm on 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30 and 31 December. It’s open 9.30am-8pm on 25-27 December and 1 January.

They can help you:

  • Talk about coping with bereavement
  • What to do after someone dies
  • How to support a bereaved person
  • Find a Cruse service, or similar service, near you
  • Provide you with information.

Mind – 9am-6pm weekdays

For mental health support, the charity Mind has a helpline that is open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays). Call 0300 123 3393 (local rate from landlines, mobile phone costs vary but will cost no more than a national call, and should be included in your inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls).

You could also email [email protected], or text 86463.

The helpline is closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, open on 27, 28, 31 December, closed on Tuesday 1 January, then open again on the 2 January.

Mind also has an online community which you can use if you’re struggling generally, or feeling low, or isolated.

Mind’s helpline can help with information on:

  • types of mental health problems
  • where to get help
  • medication and alternative treatments.

British Heart Foundation Heart Helpline – weekdays 9am-5pm

Our Heart Helpline is staffed by Cardiac Nurses to answer your heart health questions.

Whether you're looking for help with understanding your heart or circulatory disease or want to know more about keeping healthy, we're here to help. Call us on 0300 330 3311 (local rate from landlines, mobile phone costs are a similar cost to 01 and 02 calls) or email [email protected]

The Helpline is closed from 3pm on 24 December. We will reopen on 2 January at 9am when opening hours will go back to 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Our Heart Helpline can help you:

  • To understand your heart or circulatory disease
  • Discover ways to improve your diet and lifestyle
  • Connect with appropriate support services like heart support groups and other support organisations.

More useful information