Seasonal Blues? Local Mental Health Resources Are AvailableDec 21, 2023 11:38PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
If it seems like everyone around you is feeling "red and green" while all you're feeling is blue, you should know you are not alone.
Feelings of loneliness and/or depression are not uncommon during the holidays, according to experts. And fortunately, there are a multitude of resources in and around Manhattan Beach to help both youth and adults.
"Holidays are a time when grief and joy overlap, and people can feel pressures on all sides," Vanessa Poster, board president at Beach Cities Health District, told MB News. Poster noted that common struggles include feeling lonely even if a lot of family is around, missing someone who isn't with you, feeling financial stress, and/or having other overwhelming emotions.
"Be kind to yourself and get the support you need," added Poster. "Don't hesitate to reach out."
Mental Health and Other Resources
We feel we need to say this first: If you or someone you know is in immediate crisis, help is available. Call or text 988.
For those looking for a variety of different supports, Beach Cities Health District (which just celebrated its 25th anniversary) offers a great online starting point at https://www.bchd.org/resources.
A Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Support Resource Guide is also available at https://www.bchdfiles.com/docs/bchd/suicideprevention_resourceguide.pdf.
Those needing additional assistance can contact Beach Cities Health District’s Assistance, Information and Referral Line at (310) 374-3426 and press option 1, Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (People calling on Christmas or New Year’s Day will have their calls returned the next day.)
For youth, BCHD also has the newly opened allcove Beach Cities center, which offers mental and physical health services, education and employment assistance, peer and family support, and substance use prevention programs for young people ages 12-25. The center is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Note that allcove will be closed from December 23 - 26, and again on December 31 - January 1.)
Another comprehensive resource is South Bay Families Connected, which offers free youth wellness resources, education, and support for South Bay families.
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health offers a list of resources specific to the holidays. It also has a comprehensive list of mental health resources, including specialized services for veterans, first responders, LGBTQ+, and those suffering grief and loss.
Furthermore, the California Department of Public Health has a list of hotlines (used for crisis) and "warmlines" (used if you need someone to talk with when it is not necessarily an immediate crisis).
On behalf of the entire MB News team, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season.