Alabama News Network –
Mental health issues can affect almost anyone, especially around the holidays.
“The holidays are sometimes a time of reflection when you miss people. Sometimes, others are gone in your life, and you sometimes feel a little longing for that,” Malissa Valdes-Hubert of the Alabama Department of Mental Health said.
A new partnership between the Alabama departments of Mental Health and Public Health are working to help those people. Its part of the “Stop Judging, Start Healing” campaign, which is aimed at changing the way we speak to people with mental health or substance abuse issues.
“People that have health illness, substance abuse disorders, opioid abuse- it’s really for those people that we realize what we say to them, it hurts them and we really have to think about what we say before we speak to them,” Ryan Easterling of the Alabama Department of Public Health said.
Easterling and Valdes-Hubert are working together to decrease the stigma about mental issues, and those with a history of substance abuse or HIV.
“A lot of the people that we’re talking about-they already feel insecure. You know, they may have issues internally and so when they hear someone say words that hurt them, it’s just going to make it that much worse,” Easterling said.
The campaign also encourages you to reach out if you’re feeling overwhelmed or grief.
“Take the time to realize that the holidays are a time of stress, but they can also be a time of real happiness. So mental health can come up in the holidays and it can be a little bit stressful for people. but it is a time to realize that there is support out there,” Valdes-Hubert said.
For more information on numbers to call if you’re in need of help, click here.
For more information on the Stop Judging, Start Healing Campaign, Click here.