For many of us, the holidays are a time for gratitude and the enjoyment of family. However, for many people, the holidays can be a sad and stressful time of year. Feelings around the holidays can be magnified and can range from a few moments of sadness to a deep and persistent depression.
Depression affects 121 million people worldwide. And did you know that 80% of individuals affected by depression never seek treatment? Depression can affect a person’s ability to work, form relationships, and can destroy their quality of life. Oftentimes people deal with depression and anxiety by drinking or turning to drugs. Depression is a real medical issue. It’s not something that just goes away. Knowing when to seek help is half the battle.
Our new campaign, “It could happen to you…” reminds us that no one is immune from mental illness or addiction. We need to remember that recovery is possible but oftentimes the journey is difficult. Successful recovery is highly correlated with a strong support network of friends, family, and other helping professionals.
So, look around during your holiday gatherings. Chances are, you have a friend, family member or colleague living with a mental illness, depression or chemical dependency. Your understanding, support and encouragement mean more than any gift.
I am grateful for the staff, Board, and friends of Horizon that support our efforts to be “caring professionals”. Best wishes to all of you for health and happiness during the holidays and in the upcoming year.