Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Offers Tips and Resources for Taking Care of Our Mental Health This Holiday Season
December 13, 2022
Mental Health Symptoms Can Be Exacerbated During the Winter Holidays
Click HERE for Photos and B-roll of 988 Lifeline and Suicide Prevention Center
LOS ANGELES – Dec. 13, 2022 – Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services (Didi Hirsch), a national leader in mental health and crisis care for the past 80 years and home of the nation’s first Suicide Prevention Center as well as the statewide leader of all 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifelines in California, wants to ensure that individuals know where to turn for support with their mental health this holiday season.
The holidays are often a time of joy and celebration, but can also exacerbate feelings of sadness, loss, and loneliness as well as worsen existing issues such as depression and anxiety for the 50 million Americans living with mental illness.
“We often feel enormous pressure to enjoy the holidays, yet many people are also navigating complex family dynamics, grieving the loss of a loved one, or grappling with financial stress. It is important that we normalize the duality of these emotions, proactively seek ways to prioritize our mental health, and give ourselves and our loved ones grace,” shared Lyn Morris, LMFT and CEO of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, headquartered in Los Angeles.
Mental health needs and self-care practices vary greatly. The American Psychological Association found that 31 percent of people surveyed in 2022 said they expect their stress levels to increase during the holiday season, further underscoring the importance of managing holiday-induced stress, practicing boundary-setting, and learning the warning signs of suicide.
“Taking care of your mental health year-round, including during the holiday season, is not selfish,” encouraged Morris. “Mental health is health. Keep your appointments if you are seeing a therapist or participating in support groups, maintain routines, eat healthy, get plenty of rest, exercise, and limit your exposure to conflict or stressful situations by setting boundaries with friends and family.”
A recent survey conducted by The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and CNN found that about half of adults say they have had a severe mental health crisis in their family in the past year.
“Though research suggests that the rate of suicides does not increase during the holiday season, we have seen the severity of mental health symptoms worsen in the past several years. Since the launch of the national 988 Lifeline in July 2022, our team has experienced a 25 percent increase in people seeking help from the crisis line,” noted Morris.
You can help save a life by learning the warning signs and risk factors if someone you know is thinking about suicide.
The Didi Hirsch team suggests looking for the following indicators:
- Talking about feeling hopeless, having no reason to live, being a burden, feeling trapped or unbearable pain
- Threatening or planning suicide
- Despairing texts or posts
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Feelings of failure or shame
- Giving away possessions
- Making out wills
- Avoiding family and friends
- Risky behaviors
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
- Sudden improvement in mood
If you suspect a loved one is struggling, talk to them:
- Tell them you are concerned and want to help
- Ask if they are thinking about suicide and have made any plans
- Take their thoughts and feelings seriously
- Listen with empathy and without judgment
- Don’t agree to keep their suicide plans secret
- Encourage them to call the 988 Lifeline and offer to stay for the call
- Contact the 988 Lifeline directly for guidance on supporting a loved one
“When someone calls 988, a trained, compassionate counselor is there to listen. The counselor will work with the caller to help them to find ways to feel better, assess their risk, and develop a safety plan. Follow-up is available with further resources depending on the caller’s situation. People also call on behalf of loved ones and receive support with helping their friend or family member,” shared Morris.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 for free and confidential support. Calling 988 connects you with a suicide prevention and crisis counselor, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit www.crisiscare.org for more information on Didi Hirsch crisis counseling services.
ABOUT DIDI HIRSCH MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services has been a national leader in whole-person mental health and crisis care for 80 years. Its first-in-the-nation Suicide Prevention Center operates multiple English/Spanish hotlines 24/7, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline becoming 988 in July 2022, the national Disaster Distress Helpline for those suffering emotionally from natural or manmade disasters, a new line diverting 911 calls from the LAPD, as well as Teen Line. Didi Hirsch’s highly specialized experts also provide outpatient therapy and medication management, crisis counseling and support groups for people with suicidal thoughts, attempts, or loss, as well as suicide prevention training for students, teachers, clergy, police, and first responders. Didi Hirsch serves nearly 160,000 children, adults, and families each year through 11 community-based locations and nearly 100 schools across Los Angeles and Orange counties. Learn more at www.didihirsch.org