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MDHHS offers mental health resources to combat seasonal depression this winter

mental health file
Posted at 1:34 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 14:55:55-05

LANSING, Mich. — As Michigan enters a second holiday season during the COVID-19 pandemic, health officials are offering tips and resources to help residents cope with winter – or seasonal – blues that are common this time of year.

“The shorter, darker days of winter can be difficult for many people,” said Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “This season often deepens anxiety, depression and feelings of grief or isolation – especially after everything we’ve experienced these past two years. It is always okay to ask for help and our department has resources available.”

MDHHS offered the following tips for those suffering from winter blues:

  • Stay active, even if it is doing small things each day. 
  • Eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep. 
  • Keep a schedule and try to get fresh air every day. 
  • Try to find a small pleasure for yourself each day. 
  • Avoid using too much alcohol and avoid drugs. 
  • Create a buddy system to have someone you can call when you feel down. 
  • Set boundaries on how you want to spend your time in a way that works for you. Be respectful of others who may want things from you but remember to take care of yourself. 
  • Seek professional help if you need it. 

For a free, confidential conversation with a trained Stay Well crisis counselor, dial 888-535-6136 and press “8” at the prompt. The phone line is open 24/7 for any Michigan resident.

Visit the state’s website here to find the nearest community mental health services program office, register for a virtual support group or access brochures and recorded webinars.

Residents with serious mental illness or substance use challenges who want to speak with someone who understands these issues can call the Michigan Warmline at 888-733-7753, which is available from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.

If you or a loved one is concerned about suicide, call 800-273-8255.