El Paso crisis hotline sees increase in calls

EL PASO, Texas - The holiday season can create added stress for people living everywhere including El Paso.

Celeste Nevarez, a licensed professional counselor with Emergence Health Network, told KTSM that people tend to experience extra pressure during November and December.

She said, “We try to encourage folks not to over-schedule, don’t overbook yourself to where you know you can’t meet these commitments and don’t isolate.”

According to Nevarez, some individuals may experience loneliness or depression after perceiving a lack of money or time.

Meanwhile, others may struggle with the loss of a loved one.

“If you find yourself alone during the holidays reminding yourself of those painful times or people you lost, get out, go for a walk and window shop so you’re not pushing that financial stress.”

According to EHN, 22,988 people called the crisis hotline in 2016.

However, early numbers showed that number increasing to more than 25,000 in 2017.

Specifically, between Jan. 2017 and Nov. 2017, EHN received 25,277 calls into their crisis hotline.

EHN attributed the increase to a number of factors including an increase in awareness.

It also offered several tips for dealing with stress and depression during the holidays:

     Acknowledge your feelings. If someone recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness.

     Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolate, seek out community, religious or social events.

     Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well.

     Set aside differences. Set aside grievances with family members until a more appropriate time.

     Stick to a budget. Before you go gift shopping, decide how much you can afford to spend.

     Plan ahead. Set aside specific days to shop, bake and visit with friends and family.

     Learn to say no. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity.

     Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become the free-for-all.

     Take a break. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do.

    Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious. If these feelings last for awhile, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

If you need help or know someone who does, you can call the local crisis hotline at 915-779-1800 or 1-877-562-6467.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can also be reached at 1-800-273-8255.


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