Mental health advocates offer advice ahead of holidays

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Mental health advocates are offering advice for people who aren’t going home for holidays and might be struggling with the transition. 

They say instead of the large family gatherings we normally think of this is the year to try something new.

Zoom is removing time limits on Thanksgiving to help families gather virtually without restrictions.

Dr. Carey Krause, a psychiatrist with Mercy Health, says most important thing people can do is look out for one other and ourselves.

He says they’ve seen a lot of people who struggle around the holidays in past years and this year could be even worse.

“I think it’s a matter of turning to those who you love, identifying what resources there are to help you,” said Krause. “If you don’t think you have those resources, then there are organizations within West Michigan to help you find those.”

If you think you might need help over the next couple of months, Krause says it’s never too early to start looking for those resources or turning to the people you trust.

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health and are in immediate need of help, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 24/7 at 1.800.273.8255.