Healthcare workers discuss how the holidays can impact mental health and what we can do to help

(KOLD News 13)
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:24 PM EST
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - For many people, the holidays are a joyous time, but for some, they can be difficult.

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can be heightened during the holiday season.

“Right after Thanksgiving, even right after Christmas, those time periods, [we’ll] have a lot of people show up like, ‘alright, I need a little something, I’ve gotten in a slump because, you know, I let myself get so low,’” said Summer Vandy, therapist at BHMG Baptist Health.

The holidays are a time for family gatherings, but for those who do not have a support system, this time can be dreary:

“We need to be mindful of people who are alone and how can we just reach out to check on people, you know, our neighbors, our friends,” said Scott Lockard, Public Health Director for the Kentucky River District Health Department.

If you do not have a family gathering to attend during the holidays, Vandy suggests putting together a ‘Friendsgiving’ with your friends or volunteering with different outreach programs to have a sense of fellowship.

If you or a loved one is showing signs of anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues as the holidays draw near, there are several resources available here.

If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts, ideations, or tendencies, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

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