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Mental & Behavioral Health at The Holidays: The Elephant in the Room

The holiday season like Thanksgiving, often regarded as a time of joy, togetherness, and celebration, can also be a time when the elephant in the room makes its presence felt: mental and behavioral health issues.


While gatherings with family and friends are anticipated with excitement, they can also bring a unique set of challenges, especially for those dealing with mental health concerns. This article explores the often-overlooked aspect of mental and behavioral health during the holidays and how care management can offer practical solutions to common problems.


The Holidays of Mental Health

The holiday season is synonymous with heightened stress, anxiety, and emotional turmoil for many. The pressure to create perfect gatherings, the expectations of joyful reunions, and the heightened commercialism of the season can all be overwhelming. For those already facing mental health challenges, these demands can exacerbate symptoms and lead to isolation and despair. Common issues include:


  1. Increased Stress: The hustle and bustle of holiday preparations can elevate stress levels, making it challenging for individuals with anxiety or depression to cope effectively.


  1. Loneliness: The emphasis on family and social gatherings can magnify feelings of isolation for those without a support system or who are estranged from their families.


  1. Financial Strain: Gift-giving and the cost of holiday celebrations can strain budgets, leading to financial stress and worry.


  1. Substance Abuse: The prevalence of alcohol at holiday events can be triggering for individuals recovering from addiction, increasing the risk of relapse.


  1. Grief and Loss: For those who have experienced loss, the holidays can serve as a painful reminder, triggering feelings of grief and sadness.


How Care Management Can Help


Care management is a comprehensive approach to addressing these mental and behavioral health challenges during the holidays and beyond. Care managers are trained professionals who offer a range of services to individuals in need, including:


  1. Personalized Care Plans: Care managers create customized care plans that address specific mental health needs, ensuring that individuals receive appropriate support and resources.


  1. Crisis Intervention: For those in immediate distress, care managers can provide crisis intervention to ensure safety and emotional stability.


  1. Emotional Support: Care managers offer emotional support, acting as a listening ear and a source of comfort during difficult times.


  1. Substance Abuse Guidance: For individuals in recovery, care managers can provide strategies to avoid relapse and offer alternative coping mechanisms.


  1. Coping Strategies: Care managers can teach coping strategies to deal with holiday-related stress, anxiety, and loneliness.


  1. Connecting with Community Resources: Care managers have extensive networks and can connect individuals to support groups, therapy, and community resources that are crucial in managing mental health concerns.


  1. Advocacy: Care managers can advocate on behalf of individuals to ensure they receive proper care, whether it’s from healthcare providers, insurance companies, or social service agencies.

Holiday Harmony Through Care Management


The holidays should be a time of happiness, connection, and rejuvenation. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that mental and behavioral health challenges can often take center stage during this season. By enlisting the support of care managers, individuals, and families can take a significant step toward addressing these challenges effectively. LifeSpan Care management is the tool that can help individuals regain control over their mental and emotional well-being, turning the holiday season into a time of genuine joy and connection. The elephant in the room doesn’t have to cast a shadow over the holidays, and with the right support, we can create a brighter and more harmonious season for everyone.