FOR most people, Christmas is a joyous time of year spent surrounded by good food, presents, family and friends.
However, for others it can stir up feelings of depression, anxiety and isolation.
Lifeline Central West volunteers know that better than anyone.
"It can be an incredibly difficult time for a whole range of reasons. Generally, it's meant to be a time of celebration, family, love and get togethers, but that's not everyone's reality," CEO Stephanie Robinson said.
"Often issues that people are facing, such as loneliness, mental ill health, relationship breakdown, access to children and financial issues, they are often exacerbated at this time and they can make people feel incredibly isolated and lonely.
"It's also often a time that people relive any loss and grief they've experienced throughout the year and sort of focus on who is missing.
"Sometimes that can make Christmas really tough for people, but we like to encourage that everybody try and not do Christmas on their own, and that might mean that you reconnect with neighbours or go to a community Christmas gathering."
If those options aren't feasible, Lifeline volunteers are always waiting by the phone to help people in need of compassion and a friendly voice.
Lifeline traditionally sees a spike in calls at this time of year, but that doesn't mean that crisis supporters will be any less kind.
"Every call is treated with absolute empathy," Ms Robinson said.
To get in touch with Lifeline, call 13 11 14.
Crisis supporters will listen without judgment, provide a safe space to discuss needs, worries or concerns, and work with the caller to explore options for support.
Lifeline also offers a live chat platform on its website as another way for people to reach out for help.
Alternatively, people can text 0477 131 114, complete the survey, read and accept the terms and conditions, and then wait to be connected to a crisis supporter.
People can choose to remain anonymous.
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