How you can stave off the holiday blues


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The holiday season can mean joy for some but be bluesy for others.

The Wolf administration on Friday shared resources and advice for individuals and families affected by mental health and substance abuse disorders during the holiday season.​

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, additional stress, sentimental memories, or unrealistic expectations can lead to issues during the holiday season. One in five adults in America suffers from a mental illness and 64% say they were affected by holiday blues.​

“As has been noted, the holiday season can be absolutely wonderful but it can be a difficult time for people suffering with serious health conditions and serious medical mental health conditions. If you are in need of help, ask for it,” said Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.​

The holiday season can also be tough on those dealing with a substance abuse disorder. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the most dangerous time of the year for substance use and alcohol-related deaths are the holiday months.​

“Consider how overwhelming the pace of this holiday season can be and with those with substance abuse disorder, the anxiety and the stress is amplified,” said Jennifer Smith, Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.​

Family members can help loved ones in recovery by limiting their alcohol intake and disposing of old and unwanted prescription medication.​

Resources include Get Help Now helpline, which can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). It is available 24/7, including on Christmas and New Year’s Day. ​The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255. Help can also be accessed through the Crisis Text Line, by texting “PA” to 741-741.​

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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