Police are urging Coast residents to reach out to those not coping with pressures of the Christmas/ New Year period.
Police are urging Coast residents to reach out to those not coping with pressures of the Christmas/ New Year period. Marjan_Apostolovic

Reach out to avoid the darker side of Christmas

PICKING up early warning signs could be crucial to avoiding Christmas trends which police dread every year.

Sunshine Coast Vulnerable Persons Unit officer-in-charge Troy Pukallus said mental health issues regularly coincided with domestic violence.

Senior Sergeant Pukallus said an amalgamation of issues such as family pressure, financial hardship and child custody disputes tended to hit home for many people at Christmas time.

"I know from year to year it is a no-brainer that domestic violence goes up and alcohol-related disturbances go up and suicides go up as well," Snr Sgt Pukallus said.

He said urged people to look out for those around them, particularly if they were drinking too much, seeking to be isolated from festivities or not sleeping well.

"They are all of those warning signs they are not travelling so well."

Snr Sgt Pukallus said police had been out in the community speaking with people over organised barbecue breakfasts about the impacts of domestic violence and mental health issues.

"Police would much rather have a positive engagement over a bacon and egg roll and a coffee rather than a negative interaction in someone's living room in the middle of the night or delivering some terrible news to a family on Christmas morning."

He hoped people would be able to take a similar approach to intervene before behaviour escalated to violence or self harm.

"You can't get any earlier intervention than having a chat with someone at a barbie or over a coffee."

Anyone experiencing difficulty can call Policelink on 131 444, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or DV Connect on 1800 811 811.



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