Petersburg Mental Health Services filled 20 gift bags for its family connectedness project. (Photo by Becky Turland)

The holiday season can mean good feelings for some of us but for others it can be a challenging time.

Some people deal with seasonal depression from the cold, dark winter days. Some people have financial stress from increased heating bills. Some people feel more depressed and others have increased anxiety.

The pandemic has also intensified stressors for some people. There can be feelings of isolation while navigating differing opinions among friends and neighbors.

Everyone’s situation is different and so are their needs, says Ashley Kawashima, Behavioral Health Clinician with Petersburg Mental Health Services. She along with PMHS Office Manager, Becky Turland, spoke with KFSK’s Angela Denning about the holiday season. Kawashima says there are some creative ways people are coping this year.

A 24-hour hotline for people needing to talk is 1-800-suicide or 1-800-273-talk. That’s 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-273-8255. You can also live chat online.

For people who feel better when they are giving, there is a Tournament of Giving going on hosted by PMHS and the after school program Kinderskog. It’s a donation collection program with drop boxes at Kinderskog, the school district, Anchor Properties, and at the PMHS office. They are accepting gently used clothing as well as non-perishable foods.

Long Term Care is also collecting all kinds of photographs from community members to share with their residents. Another gift is just waving at residents at Mountain View Manor.

In late January, Petersburg will hold its fourth annual Project Connect where local service providers and resources can connect with people who are struggling. More information on those details will be coming out in January.

Daughters of Petersburg Mental Health Services Office Manager, Becky Turland, helped prepare 100 family meals as part of a homeschool project. (Jozlyn, age 10 is on the top rack and Etolyn, age 8, below). (Photo by Becky Turland)