SAMHSA Holiday Support Resources

December 18, 2023

As the holiday season approaches, SAMHSA recognizes the added stress many individuals feel during this time. This stress can often worsen the symptoms of a mental health condition. Did you know...a recent survey* conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that 64% of individuals living with a mental illness reported that their conditions worsened around the holidays. Below are a few strategies to support one's mental health during the holiday season. 

  1. Pay attention to your feelings - It is okay to feel unhappy during the holidays. Recognizing your feelings is the first step to addressing and nurturing them.
  2. Develop a plan - Having a plan ahead of time when you're feeling stressed, sad, or lonely can help ensure the difficult moments are more manageable. This plan may include calling a friend or family member, going for a walk, engaging in an activity that brings joy, or watching a favorite movie.
  3. Practice self-care - Schedule time for yourself and activities that recharge your mind and body: read a good book, exercise, spend time in nature, and practice stress management skills. It is also important to prioritize necessities like eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of sleep.  
  4. Connect with others - Finding a supportive community through clubs, support groups, community centers, local meetups, and faith communities can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Consider scheduling a regular phone call with family and friends. 
  5. Support each other - Improve your happiness and well-being by checking in on loved ones or helping a friend or neighbor.  
  6. Know when to seek help - If you feel that your mental health struggles are becoming overwhelming and difficult to handle, seek help and know that treatment is available. Below are free and confidential resources that can connect you with effective treatment and support.
  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline — 1-800-662-HELP (4357) - A confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
  • — An online guide that helps people navigate through common questions when they are at the start of their journey to better behavioral health.
  • — A confidential and anonymous source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for substance use/addiction and/or mental health problems.
  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline — If you or someone you know needs support now, you can contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Simply call or text 988 or chat
  • Veterans Crisis Line — Reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves. Dial 988 then press 1.


December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. More than 10,000 Americans die every year in preventable crashes caused by impaired driving. As we come together this holiday season, educate yourself and others on the risks of driving while impaired and take steps to stay safe. Click here to view resources from SAMHSA and start conversations with family and friends ahead of time. 


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