The holiday season is a time to gather with loved ones, celebrate, reflect on the past and create hope-filled plans for the future. For some, especially those living with mental illness, the holidays can be a difficult time of the year. The absence of loved ones who have passed, feelings of isolation or the pressures of living up to family expectations may make the holidays feel overwhelming and devoid of meaning.
Each year, untold numbers of people struggling emotionally put on a brave face during the holidays, sometimes leaving them in an emotional crisis once the celebrations and gatherings have concluded. When a mental health crisis occurs, friends and family often don’t know where to turn. The behaviors of a person experiencing a crisis can be unpredictable and challenging.
Mental Health Partners, a nonprofit dedicated to mental health and wellness, offers a free, 24-hour emergency psychiatric services hotline, a child crisis hotline, a rape crisis line and free referrals to other community resources, supporting those facing an emotional crisis throughout Boulder and Broomfield Counties. MHP’s hotline also offers coaching, support and safety planning to friends and family members seeking assistance for a loved one experiencing a crisis.
Emergency Psychiatric Services: (303) 447-1665
Child Crisis Hotline: (303) 413-6388
Sexual Assault Hotline: (303) 443-7300
Community Resources: (720) 406-3609
Signs indicating that someone is experiencing emotional distress:
- unusual or atypical behavior for a person in the situation
- behavior that is extreme in the number or frequency or for the duration of the stressor
- disruptive or inappropriate behavior or inappropriate expressions of anger
- intimidating or frightening behavior such as verbal threats or destructive acts
- feelings of hopelessness, helplessness or worthlessness
- inability to perform daily routines or tasks such as bathing or eating
- insomnia or excessive sleeping
- self-isolation or decreased interest or pleasure in previously enjoyable activities
- sudden happiness after a period of being depressed
- excessive alcohol or other substance use
- verbal indications of suicide or repeated themes of death in conversations
- loss of reality or is inconsolable
- signs of sexual assault or abuse
MHP also connects individuals and families to other resources in the community affecting an individual’s mental well-being, such as housing, food assistance, benefits, education, shelters, domestic violence resources, low-cost medical services, rent and utility assistance.
Each year, MHP’s emergency psychiatric services hotline answers more than 10,000 calls from individuals seeking help coping with their emotions and the rape crisis line helps more than 1,000 survivors of sexual assault.