Christmas and the holiday season can be a challenging time of year for many people. A number of services are available to help those in need during this time.

13Family (13 32 64) hotline

Mums and Dads across Queensland are urged to call 13Family (13 32 64) for extra support if times are tough this Christmas. Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said the festive season could be a challenging time for many Queenslanders as they struggled to meet both family and financial pressures during the school holidays. Families who need advice – or more hands-on support – can be linked up with their local, community-based Family and Child Connect service. Whether you’re having issues with family relationships, budgeting, housing or other concerns, Family and Child Connect can provide information, advice and support to keep families safe this Christmas.

Mental health support

Support services for those struggling with depression or loneliness are always available over the festive season holidays. Dr Stephen Carbone from Beyond Blue told ABC News that Christmas was a "consistently busy" time of year for the mental health organisation, which runs a 24/7 support hotline among other services. "For some people in our community, particularly those who might be a bit more isolated and lonely, where there might be a family conflict or people on low incomes ... it can be a difficult time for those groups and it can impact on their mental health and wellbeing."

For tips on looking after your mental health this Christmas visit the Mental Health Foundation website.

If you need to talk to someone, call:

Domestic and family violence

Help and support is available 24/7 for anyone experiencing sexual assualt or domestic and family violence through the 1800Respect (1800 737 732) national counselling helpline.

If anyone is in immediate danger call 000.

Legal assistance

To get legal help call Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 65 11 88 Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5:00pm EST—for the cost of a local call (from a landline in Australia).

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (Qld) Ltd, is a community-based organisation established to provide professional and culturally competent legal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Queensland. If you need legal assistance over the Christmas break they have a 24/7 toll free hotline on 1800 012 255.

Respite care

Carers Link Holiday Care Program provides group supported accommodation for people with disability, in holiday apartments across Brisbane, Bribie Island, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. This program allows families and clients to access valuable respite, and can be booked throughout holiday periods, or at other times throughout the year. Call 07 3901 1165 or visit the Carers Link website to find out more.

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