The festive season can be a lot of fun, but for some people it’s a time of heightened anxiety. It’s the season to be jolly, but sometimes that can tip over into excess. Here’s some information to keep you safer over the Christmas and New Year period.
If you’re partying know your limits. Everyone likes to let their hair down at Christmas but that morning glass of fizz can catch up with you if you’re still going by the evening, and parties do tend to last longer and be more frequent at this time of the year. You can find our tips for cutting back and pacing your drinking here. If you fancy going booze-feree for a month you can have a Sober Start (and you can even fundraise for us via a sponsored alcohol-free January or donate to the campaign via Just Giving.
If you’re going to be partying using drugs you can find lots of information about reducing the risk here. Remember to look out for your friends, and if anyone at your party overdoses call 999.
If you’re having sex, or hoping to see the New Year in with a (gang) bang remember to stock up with plenty of condoms and lube. Gay & bisexual men will find plenty of safer sexual health advice over at the website of our friends at GMFA.
If you think you may have picked up an unwanted gift due to exposure to an HIV risk you can seek advice & PEP (within no more than 72 hours) from a GUM clinic such as 56 Dean Street, Mortimer Market Centre orBurrell Street in central London. If these are closed you can access PEP through your local A&E. In Central London these can be found at:
University College Hospital
235 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BU
Tel: 0845 155 5000
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
369 Fulham Road, London, SW10 9NH
Tel: 020 8746 8000
St Thomas’ Hospital
Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7EH
Tel: 020 7188 7188
If you feel alone this Christmas and want to talk to another LGBT person our friends Switchboard will have their helpline open daily 10am – 11pm. The National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline run by Galop will be open as normal over the Christmas period. The charity Crisis has opened its Christmas centres for homeless people and will run until December 30th. If you feel suicidal you can call Samaritans 24 hours a day. In an emergency go to your local A&E.
London Friend’s services will resume on Tuesday 3rd January as normal. Our first Antidote drug & alcohol drop-ins will run on Thursday 5th January in Soho then Monday 9th January in Kings Cross.
We wish you a happy, safe Christmas and a healthy 2017.