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Managing Your Mental Health Online During the Holidays

Managing Your Mental Health Online During the Holidays

20 Dec, 2021

"While the research evidence on seasonal changes in the mental health of the general population is mixed, there is no doubt that the festive season can be a difficult time for people suffering from a mental illness. Financial hardship, increased stress and parenting demands, family conflict, loneliness and increased consumption of alcohol might impact on mental health outcomes. For people suffering from an eating disorder or alcohol use disorder, family and work gatherings centred around food and alcohol can create increased anxiety and distress.

Furthermore, the reduced availability of mental health professionals in the community over Christmas means that the holiday season can be a worrying time for practitioners and their clients alike.

Digital mental health services can be integrated with face-to-face mental health treatment in numerous ways over the festive season. Digital programs can provide practitioners with alternate low intensity referral options or waitlist referral options for new clients. Apps, phone services and online programs can be used prior to breaks to engage clients in safety planning or to build coping skills for periods without therapist contact. In-the-moment coping tools or crisis services can support clients’ mental health during a break. Time-limited therapist-support or self-guided online programs can be useful for skill building during periods of leave or after discharge from therapy.

eMHPrac has developed a Managing Your Mental Health Online During the Holidays factsheet which can be utilized as a prescription or handout for clients or kept as a guide to determine appropriate digital tools for clients to use over the holiday period."

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