A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Feeling depressed? Need help with substance abuse? Holidays can be trigger; FindHealthNowKY

Many people can experience feelings of anxiety or depression during the holiday season. Extra stress, unrealistic expectations or even sentimental memories that accompany the season can be a catalyst for the holiday blues.
The holiday season can bring out many triggers that may induce uncomfortable feelings and negative emotions such as sadness, loneliness, anger, bitterness, and anxiety. Moreover, stressors triggered by the holidays can create overwhelming feelings for individuals, which can make this a difficult season for managing mental health.

According to Nicole Delatorre-Brooks, a licensed professional clinical counselor and mental health therapist at Chrysalis House in Lexington, the following are examples of triggers that can induce stress, anxiety, and/or depression:
• Financial obligations (i.e., expectations for gift giving, food, travel, childcare when children are on holiday break)

• Social and family gatherings (i.e. lacking positive social and family support, busy schedules)

• Familial expectations (i.e. family/relational conflicts), and lacking familial support

• Grief and loss of loved ones

• Celebration exposure to alcohol and substances for those in recovery and at risk for relapse

• Expectations for personal goals and heading into the new year
Individuals are susceptible to relapse from these holiday triggers and stressors, and that’s where FindHelpNowKY.org provides a solution when people need it most.

Launched in early 2018, FindHelpNowKY.org has provided critical, real-time information on the availability of addiction treatment programs to more than 11,000 Kentuckians since the start of the year. It’s an unprecedented digital resource that aims to increase access to treatment services and decrease time spent searching for treatment in the state of Kentucky. The website — which tracks current openings for over 500 treatment facilities and DATA-waivered MAT physicians across the state — has seen more than 38,000 unique visitors since January 1st and continues to receive over 2,000 new visitors each week.
It acts much like a search engine, providing information on the location and current availability of addiction treatment resources in real-time, effectively enabling rapid and more frequent admissions to treatment programs. The website allows treatment facilities and MAT providers to manage customized facility profiles where they can quickly and easily post updates when new treatment slots or services become available. FindHelpNowKY.org is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and produced by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC), the bona fide agent of the Kentucky Department for Public Health.
“The steady surge in website visitor statistics is a testament to just how important access to information is in linking individuals with substance use disorders to available treatment facilities with openings,” said Dr. Terry Bunn, director of KIPRC.

“People who visit FindHelpNowKY.org can confidentially locate treatment facilities and service providers, who are currently accepting new patients, based on individual determinants like accepted payment, geographic location, cost parameters, and the specific type of treatment required. Unlike any digital tool to come before it, FindHelpNowKY.org represents a quantum leap forward in our fight against the addiction epidemic.”

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