DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Between the stress of the holidays and the pandemic, mental health and addiction experts are sharing what resources are available in the Miami Valley.
The Montgomery County Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, or ADAMHS, said there’s often an increase in mental health issues and uptick in suicides around the holidays.
Montgomery County Prevention Coalition manager Colleen Oakes said the holiday season brings added stress, expenses and isolation, especially with the ongoing pandemic.
“We just have individuals that maybe are struggling because they’re not with their family and friends, or experienced the loss of a family or friend, and especially this year, the holidays may look a little bit different,” Oakes said.
Oakes said ADAMHS recommends people download their Local Help Now app so it’s installed and ready to connect people with resources in the Miami Valley when needed.
Sha also advised to create a support system if you notice someone is struggling.
“We encourage them to reach out, and if you can’t do it in person, send a text message, use Facetime, anything to make sure that that support system’s in place,” Oakes said.
Those struggling with addiction and their families may also feel additional stress this time of year.
“Parents oftentimes have put down boundaries and they might not want their loved ones in the house if they’re using, so that adds stress, what’s happening to their loved ones,” Families of Addicts executive director Anita Kitchen said. “Right now, numbers are up all over the country as far as overdoses.”
Kitchen said Families of Addicts said the organization’s weekly support group will not take a break for the holidays.
“We are a support to anybody that has been touched by addiction in one way or another, family, children, whatever the situation is, we are here to support you and to get you through the holidays,” Kitchen said.
Families of Addicts also has a warm line for anyone with questions about addiction or in need of help. It can be reached at (844) 844-2362. If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.