MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - With financial pressures, an increase in work, and family members coming to visit, the holiday season is a stressful time for many. Along with stress can come anxiety and depression, making Christmas and New Years a rough time for people’s mental health.
“It is the happiest time of year for many people, however there are those among us who do have great struggles particularly during the holidays," said Dr. Elaine Bedell, Executive Director for the Midland Behavioral Health Leadership Team.
Things like an increased work load and reflection of a time from before a loved one might have passed can make a time that most people look forward to a much sadder occasion.
To help combat those holiday blues, Midland Memorial Hospital wants people to know the 68NURSE program is equipped to help people struggling with their mental health.
Those behind the program are trained in mental health first aid to help those who need it. Additionally, they are assisted by a computerized algorithm to help distinguish issues, such as identifying the difference between a heart attack and a panic attack.
This program, as well as national hotlines like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) can make an enormous difference during this time of year.
“During the holidays you see suicide, the attempt of suicide and the actual completion of suicide, going up because again people do have the stress, anxiety, depression they are affected with,” said Bedell.
Being able to reach out to someone and discuss how you are feeling can be crucial when dealing with heavy topics like depression, anxiety and suicide.
“Sometimes that’s really what you need is just somebody to sit down and go through whatever your issues are with you so that you can have a plan in order to tackle them,” said Bedell.
Midland Memorial Hospital has made great strides with mental health in 2018, launching their “Okay to Say” campaign in September. Since one in five people in the U.S. suffer from mental or behavioral health issues the increase in awareness can make a huge difference.
“For Midland, that’s about 33,000 people," says Bedell.
The important thing is to remember you aren’t alone and to seek help in whatever form you feel comfortable with when you are dealing with these issues.
“I think as you go on you realize you do know somebody. Even if you don’t think you do, you do," said Bedell.