by Carsyn Currier
Compass House says it’s important to let your loved ones know you care around the #holiday season
MEDFORD, Ore. — It’s easy to get wrapped up in the typical postcard #holiday expectations but officials warn these expectations could make life harder for those who suffer from #depression.
Elizabeth Hazlewood, Executive Director Compass House, A Medford non-profit that provides #mentalhealthservices, says people need support during this time of year, especially if their expectations are out of reach.
In Jackson County, #NAMI confirmed that they’ve also seen an increase in support groups over the past three weeks, due to the #holiday season.
“A lot of our members report that it’s so hard. A lot of adults living with #mentalillness tend to be isolated from family and friends, and this time of year tends to be a reminder of that isolation,” said Hazlewood.
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
Linda Eppler, who survived an attempt to take her life during the #holidays, told News 10 she’s far too familiar with the struggle of those who suffer from #depression that is exacerbated during the #holidays.
“The #holidays, it gets you down. I mean, finances, and not really having relatives nearby, it’s really hard,” she said.
Eppler wants others who may be struggling to know that they are not alone and that there is help available.
“There are people in organizations that actually care,” she said noting that when she was struggling she reached out to Compass House and was able to get the help she needed, “before, I was in my darkest spot then I came to (Compass House) and learned a lot of new stuff.”
Experts say it’s important to ask those tough questions. If you have someone in your family or know someone that you’re worried about, ask them if they are thinking about hurting themselves.
“It won’t make them hurt themselves, it’ll make them know you care,” said Hazlewood.Why the #holidays tend to worsen #depression.
Eppler said support groups saved her life, because it made her feel like she had family and people who cared.
“It’s a struggle. I’ve done a lot of training so I know I have to beat it. I’m not going to just hurt myself, it’ll just hurt everyone else,” said Eppler.
Hazlewood said it’s important to make everyone feel like they’re apart of something bigger.
“All of our people are wanted and needed, we’re open on the #holidays. That way everyone knows they have a place to celebrate Christmas, presents to open, and a family to be together with because it is hard,” she said.
According to the #NationalAllianceonMentalIllness, one in five adults experience #mentalillness each year
#NAMI has a list of tips for managing your #mentalhealth during the Holidays.
- Stay in therapy
- Practice mindfulness
- Don’t rely on drugs and alcohol
- Soak up the sun
- Set realistic expectations.
Most, but not all, people who die by suicide exhibit warning signs. #SuicidePreventionLifeline notes that “#suicide is not inevitable for anyone. By starting the conversation, providing support, and directing help to those who need it, we can prevent suicides and save lives.”
According to the organization, “understanding the issues concerning #suicide and #mentalhealth is an important way to take part in #suicideprevention.” Their website provides a list of warning signs to help family members and loved ones recognize when someone they love might be struggling.
*If You or Someone You Know Is in Crisis and Needs Immediate Help
Call your doctor’s office.
Call 911 for emergency services.
Go to the nearest hospital #emergencyroom.
Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to be connected to a trained counselor at a #suicide crisis center nearest you.
Ask a family member or friend to help you make these calls or take you to the hospital.