Dealing with grief during the holidays, mental health resources available

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Thanksgiving is coming to an end. The leftovers are being put away goodbyes are being shared.

But some families are simply trying to hold it together right now.

“This might be your first holiday without your mom, or maybe you lost a son or a daughter, and there’s a lot of pressure to be happy during the holidays when you look at it on tv,” explained Adriane Howard, a licensed independent clinical social worker with Empower Behavioral Health.

That simply isn’t the reality of dealing with grief during the holidays.

Howard is encouraging people to be transparent about their struggles.

“Be open with your friends and family. Tell them how you’re doing and what’s going on in your head,” Howard added. “The worst thing to do is to try to get through it alone.”

She said the more you discuss mental health, the weaker a stigma around it becomes.

“I think there’s a stigma associated with mental health and a lot of attitudes that there’s something wrong with a person’s intellect or morality,” Howard explained. “But mental illness has nothing to do with any of that, you know, it has to do with how your brain is working.”

And if you’re on the outside looking in, the best thing you can do is be patient

“When someone’s in a mental health crisis they usually are sad, they might feel low motivation and not want to get out of bed. The might have really high anxiety, heart racing,” said Howard

And watch for the signs.

If you or someone you know are in need of mental health assistance here are some resources.

Free of Charge

  • Hospice Family Care
    • (256) 650-1212
  • The Center for Loss Grief and Change
    • (256) 883-6539

Sliding Scale Costs

  • Catholic Family Services
    • (256) 536-0073
  • Family Services Center
    • (256) 551-1610

You can also dial the United Way at 211, any time, day or night, for community resource help.