PEOPLE are encouraged to reach out for help over the coming days as the pressures of a difficult Christmas period set in.
For most people, Christmas is a joyous time where family and friends can get together and celebrate, but it's not the case for everyone.
Instead, it can put a lot of financial pressure on people or be a very sad and isolating time, and that's without considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calls to Lifeline Australia have increased 20 per cent over the last 12 months, spiking as people became aware of the realities of the pandemic.
Lifeline Central West CEO Stephanie Robinson said that local crisis supporters have been busier than ever, but will still be stepping up their efforts over the coming days.
"We've ramped up our numbers; because of all the stuff that's going on in Sydney, the Northern Beaches centre isn't able to operate like what it normally would and they're one of the largest centres that do even the paid shifts," she said.
"Lifeline Central West is working overtime this Christmas to support all those people.
"Our volunteers, I think they are the most amazing people. They're just so selfless and I just love that, our Lifeline Central West volunteers, every time we ask more of them - whether it be COVID or bushfires - they have risen to that challenge."
People who are feeling depressed, overwhelmed or isolated are encouraged to pick up the phone and call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for support at any time of the day or night.
"Just reach out, don't do it alone. No issue is too big or too small for us," Ms Robinson said.
While it is important for people to make those calls themselves, it is also a good idea for others in the community to check in on those who might be vulnerable.
Ms Robinson encouraged people to show kindness to people, either through little gifts or simply by just letting others know how much they are appreciated.
With travel restrictions in place, both interstate and in greater Sydney, it's also important to still try to connect with loved ones this year.
Technology and social media are great ways to do that.
"Even I'm in that situation. I haven't seen my daughter for nearly 13 months and I know for the past few months I'd just been looking so forward to seeing her, and now all of that has changed - she's from Perth," Ms Robinson said.
"We're making sure that even though we can't physically be together that we are going to set up the iPad at the Christmas table, and we're even making some of the same foods; we're getting a little creative like that."