The University Network

7 Free Mental Health Support Resources To Alleviate Holiday Depression

The holiday season is in full force. Some people wait all year for the festivities, gift giving and time with friends and family. But for many others, the holidays come with heightened feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety.

Watching friends and family embrace the holidays, while you feel unable to, can result in even greater feelings of isolation.

While loved ones might try to cheer you up, sometimes it is best to talk to people who you don’t know and are positioned to help you.

Seeking medical help for mental health can be difficult, inconvenient and financially burdensome, especially around the holidays, when most people tend to feel an obligation to see family and splurge on gifts, even if they may not have the budget for it.

But a lack of time and money doesn’t mean mental health should be ignored during the holidays.

Even the most severe cases of depression can be reduced through internet-based therapy.

In addition, Mental Health America has curated a list of free resources to help anyone who needs extra support this season:

Warmlines

Warmlines is a list of the phone numbers of supportive people who are likely to have shared experiences with you. They are available to talk and be there for you, no matter what it is you are feeling. The staff members are in recovery themselves, so you can talk through troubles together.

Mental Health America (MHA) on Inspire

This is a community of people with similar interests who are able to support and encourage each other online, at all times.

Reachout

Reachout is an app that connects people dealing with mental health issues to keep them motivated and on track to recovery. The app also provides a platform for people who are struggling with the recovery of a loved one. People can exchange coping strategies, offer support and receive recommendations on cutting-edge research.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) Online Peer-to-Peer Anxiety and Depression Support Group

This support group is a safe and friendly place for people to discuss feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness and others. Members can connect to people with similar feelings, describe their journey, and answer/ask questions.

Koko App

Koko is a mental health and safety service that is featured in Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Kik. It is an anonymous place to be open, get help and help others. Its community is giant, and includes people from over 155 different countries.

Crisis Text Line: text ‘MHA’ to 741-741

Emotional support is just a text away for those experiencing distress or crises. The texts are confidential, and you will receive a response 24/7.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24/7, free service for people going through emotional distress or crisis. Call 1-800-273-8255 to talk to a trained listener. For service in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454.

These universal, free services can be used by anyone. But there are many other resources out there, on university campuses and in local communities. If you need support, don’t hesitate. It is extremely important to look out for yourself. Put your mental health first!