The holiday season can be stressful enough, let alone the holidays in 2020. I am not saying this year has been all bad (hooray to pajamas and no makeup), but I am continually reminded of the prevalence of mental health issues—stress, anxiety, depression, suicide, etc.—and the toll it’s taking on many, myself included.
Some days during quarantine I’ve felt anxious and haven’t been able to fall asleep, while other days it’s taken every ounce of energy I have to get out of bed and stay motivated. And unfortunately (while it’s somewhat comforting to know I’m not alone), mental health struggles are only on the rise, spurred by uncertainty, forced change and doomsday news headlines.
Okay, now for some good news—there IS help out there: a free text message service that is available 24/7 to those in crisis. If you are feeling down, anxious or are having thoughts of harming yourself or ending your life, please text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor in the U.S. or Canada. This anonymous service will put you in touch with someone who truly cares and is there to listen. I would encourage you to reach out—we need each other now more than ever during this time of isolation.
If you are looking for ways to address the rising need for mental health services and have a heart to empower those in crisis, you might consider volunteering for the Crisis Line.* It is incredibly rewarding, and shifts are virtual and can be completed anytime, day or night.
* Because of the invaluable, extensive training that you receive with a designated coach and support team, you will be asked to commit to volunteering for at least one year, for 4 hours a week. ‘Night owls’ or those who can volunteer late night/early morning are especially in demand. There might be a waitlist to volunteer—it has been encouraging to see the amount of people who stepped up to meet demand.