Here Are Mental Health Resources and Support in Southern California This Holiday Season

For many, the holidays are a happy time spent with family and relaxing after a long year. But for some, the holidays can be difficult, causing mental and emotional strain.

If you're struggling because of anxiety caused by the ongoing pandemic, grieving the loss of a loved one, spending time alone unexpectedly after testing positive for COVID, or simply feeling tired after a hectic 2021, you're not the only one.

LA County is offering mental health counseling. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. For help, call 1-877-854-7771.

There are also ways to take care of yourself and your mental state.

Below, you'll find a list of mental health resources from various Southern California and federal agencies to help and provide support.

Tips for Coping With Stress During the Pandemic

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following tips:

  • If you are concerned you may have COVID-19, contact a health professional or go get a COVID test.
  • Taking care of your emotional health will help you think clearly, and help protect you long-term after the emergency passes.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news. Being informed is good; being overwhelmed is not.
  • Take care of your body by taking deep breaths, stretching, or meditating.
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol and drug use.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other fun activities you enjoy, or take time to learn a new hobby.
  • Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Connect with others or faith-based groups. Connect online or by phone or mail.
  • There are ways to celebrate the holidays with family while protecting your health and that of people around you. Take precautions, and enjoy the season.
A study released in 2020 looked at whether paying closer attention to the world around you during your regular walks can improve the walks' mental health benefits. This practice is called an “awe walk," and anyone can try it.

County Mental Health Resources

About half of college students screened in a recent Boston University study were found to have depression or anxiety. It’s a sign of the toll the pandemic is taking on millions cut off from human connections and, for many, their goals and aspirations. NBCLX storyteller Cody Broadway looks from college campuses to social platforms like TikTok at the impact social isolation has had on Generation Z and Millennials.

National Institute of Mental Health Resources

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Holiday Tips From the National Alliance on Mental Illness CA

  • Take steps to stay safe from COVID-19 during holiday gatherings.
  • Be kind to yourself, putting your own mental and physical well-being first. Once you know what adds stress, you can take steps to cope with those situations.
  • Write a gratitude list for what and who you're thankful for, and offer thanks. Gratitude has been shown to improve mental health.
  • Manage your time, and don't bite off more than you can chew. It's okay to say no to plans.
  • Be realistic. If your holidays don't look like you imagined, or the happy versions on TV or social media, that's okay.
  • Set boundaries. Even while spending time with close family, you can only control your own role and actions.
  • Practice relaxation, and take breaks from the holiday rush to refocus.
  • Set aside time for yourself, to do things you enjoy.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Spending time in nature has also been shown to improve mental health.
  • Volunteering can help you feel less isolated and more connected to your community.

LAUSD Mental Health Resources

  • Click the link here to access non-emergency tele-health information. You can also call 213-241-3840.
  • Wellness Center and referral forms can be found here.
  • Crisis counseling and intervention services can be found here.
  • School mental health clinic emails can be found here.
  • Wellness Center locations and information can be found here.

California Surgeon General Nadine Harris Burke also released a report focused on toxic stress and health. Read Roadmap to Resilience.

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