Mental Health during the Holidays

The festive season is a time of joy and spending time with friends and family. It can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. Symptoms for people with anxiety, traumatic brain injury, depression, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder may get worse due to the stress and emotions the holidays bring. The thoughts of passed loved ones, budgeting time and money, and dealing with family can make anyone question the joy of the holidays.

This time of year, we often forget to look after our mental health and wellbeing. Here are some tips for you:

Talk about your feelings

Talking about your feelings can improve your mood and make it easier to deal with the tough times – which many people feel during the holidays.

Accept who you are

Don’t feel under pressure to do more than you feel up to this time of year.

Care for others

Caring for others can be a real boost for your mental health – and present-buying isn’t the only way to do it.

Keep in touch

Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. Good relationships are vital to your mental health.

Keep active

It may not feel like the best time to exercise but research shows it’s really good for you!

Eat Well

It can be difficult at the holidays but eating well is good for mental health and physical health.

Take a break

The festive season is the perfect time to stop and reflect.

Do something you enjoy

Try to keep up your hobbies this time of year – you could even make them festive.

Drink sensibly, Avoid triggers

If you drink, know your limits and never drive. If you have a substance use disorder, avoid situations and people that trigger your urge to drink or use drugs


It’s ok to ask for help if you’re struggling to cope with the season. Call Partners anytime, every day at 1-888-235-HOPE(4673) – even Christmas and New Year’s Day.

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Be an Advocate: Making Policies and Services Better

One of your most important rights and responsibilities is to recommend changes.

You have many ways to help make changes to Partners’ and public health policies, and changes to services or service availability. Here are some common options for you be involved in change.

Attend or Join a Partners Committee

Attend a Partners Board Meeting

Meeting information can be found at https://www.partnersbhm.org/partners-board-directors/

Submit a formal compliment, concern, or complaint, called a grievance

Visit https://www.partnersbhm.org/grievances-and-appeals/ and choose the submission method you prefer.

Join a Community Organization 

  • The ARC North Carolina – promotes and protects the human rights of people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities – http://arcnc.org
  • NAMI NC (National Alliance on Mental Illness) – provides support, education, advocacy, and public awareness so that all affected by mental illness can build better lives – https://naminc.org/
  • Mental Health America of the South Mountains – promote mental health in our community through education, advocacy, and support – http://www.mhasouthmountains.org/

Other ways to be heard

There many other organizations and opportunities for making change in the lives of those living with behavioral health issues. And many international and national organizations have state and local chapters. Visit the Be Involved web page and the local meetings and support groups web page for more ideas.

In the Community 

Peer Recovery Support Specialist National Credential Test Exemption

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to become a National Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist! The National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (NCC AP) is offering an opportunity for qualified individuals to apply for the National Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist (NCPRSS) national credential based on their already demonstrated competence, skill, training, and experience without testing through December 31, 2018. National Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialists (NCPRSS) are individuals who are in recovery from substance use or co-occurring mental health disorders. Their life experiences and recovery allow them to provide recovery support in such way that others can benefit from their experiences. Take advantage of this limited time offer by visiting the NAADAC website at www.naadac.org/ncprss.

Waiting List Update: Statesville Housing Authority

Statesville Housing Authority is a public housing agency in Statesville, North Carolina that participates in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, and Public Housing programs. As of December 17th, 2018, Statesville Housing Authority has 4 waiting lists that are open now or opening soon. The Iredell County, North Carolina Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List has opened and is accepting applications now. The waiting list is scheduled to close on July 1st, 2019. The Public Housing Waiting List is open indefinitely. The Project-Based Rental Assistance Waiting List is open indefinitely. The Project-Based Rental Assistance Other Senior and Disabled Waiting List is open indefinitely. Statesville Housing Authority serves Iredell County.

Waiting List Status
Iredell County, North Carolina Housing Choice Voucher Open Now
Public Housing Open Indefinitely
Project-Based Rental Assistance Other Open Indefinitely
Project-Based Rental Assistance Other Senior and Disabled Open Indefinitely

Waiting List Summary

  • What: Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List
  • When:  July 2nd, 2018 – July 1st, 2019
  • How to Apply:  Online Application.
  • Applicants Placed By:  Date and Time
  • Preferences:  Elderly.  Displaced by Natural Disaster.  Live, Work, or Attend School Locally.  Disabled.  Learn More About Preferences

To apply, complete the online application here. This waiting list has the following preferences: Persons Who Live, Work, or Attend School Locally, Elderly, Disabled, Displaced by Natural Disaster,

Selected applicants will be placed on the waiting list by date and time the application is received, by order of preferences. For more information visit the SHA website here, or call the office at (704) 872-9811. Applicants who need help completing the application due to disability can make a reasonable accommodation request to the housing authority via (704) 872-9811.

Supporting the Mental Health Needs of New and Expectant Parents

An evidenced based look at the needs of new mothers struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma and more. Learn about the warning signs, when to refer, and how to support new moms in your own work. Clear Perspective LLC and Burke County Child Collaborative are offering this training on Monday, January 7, 2019, from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., at Vocational Rehabilitation, WorkSource West, 200 Enola Rd, Morganton, NC. Please register online by January 3, 2019. For more information, contact Jacqueline van Arnold at jacqueline@clearperspecive.co.

Connect Catawba Resource Forum

The Connect Catawba Resource Forum is coming up on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 from 8-10 a.m., at the Newton Recreation Center (back entrance, lower level), 23 South Brady Ave., Newton, NC. We will have a special documentary screening of the film “Resilience – The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope.” There will be a discussion afterward about how we can be part of the solution to creating more resilient communities. Our ultimate goal is to improve the ways our community accesses the important services you offer. It is our hope that everyone will have an easier time being CONNECTed to CATAWBA County services and resources! We hope to see you there! Please RSVP online by Friday, January 4.

Child and Family Team: Part 1

Child & Family Team 1: “An Introduction to Child and Family Teams: A Cross System Training from the Family’s Perspective,” is a two-day experiential training with a goal of providing an overview of Child and Family Team meetings from the family’s perspective. The training seeks to reinforce the idea of “one family, one plan” by addressing Child and Family Teams through the lens of multiple systems as they affect families in their everyday lives. Agency representatives, parents, and family members over 18 years of age are encouraged to attend this training on January, 14-15, 2019, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at Partners Behavioral Health Management, 200 Elkin Business Park Dr., Elkin, NC. Register online or contact Stephanie Funderburk at 704-301-1281 or sfunderburk@partnersbhm.org.

NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program

The National Alliance Mental Illness, South Mountains, NC is offering its free NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program for the winter and spring, beginning January 19, 2019 and running until April 2, 2019. The program will be held on Saturdays from 1:30p.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Ollie Harris Behavioral Health Center, 200 S. Post Rd. Shelby, NC. NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 12-session education program for family, partners, friends and significant others of adults living with mental illness. The course is designed to help all family members understand and support their loved one living with mental illness, while maintaining their own well-being. The course includes information on illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and other mental health conditions. Thousands of families describe the program as life-changing. The program is taught by trained teachers who are also family members and know what it is like to have a loved one living with mental illness. Please contact Diane Krisanda at 828-771-6305 or namisouthmountainsnc@gmail.com to register.

Behavioral Health Focus is published on the first and third Tuesday of each month and is intended to be a source of information for those working or interacting with behavioral health care in Burke, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Surry and Yadkin Counties. If you would like to contribute, contact Jeff Brucato at 704-884-2564 or jbrucato@partnersbhm.org. Items should be submitted by Wednesday at 3 p.m. for the next week’s issue.

Volume 4 – Issue 10
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