CHICAGO (CBS) — You might think of the holiday season as a time when more people need mental health help, but a local expert said that’s not necessarily so.
Joe Tranchita, coordinator of the Crisis Care Program for the Lake County Health Department, said people turn to the program all year long, and while there might be a little bump in requests for help when the fall and winter hit, May and June were his agency’s busiest months.
“People notice it more during the holidays, so they kind of view that as ‘Oh, this must be the reason why people are having distress.’ And it turns out, it just happens throughout the year,” he said.
In analyzing five years’ worth of data, Tranchita said there’s no real trend of any spike in clients around the holidays.
“May and June of this year were the busiest months for us. We saw the most number of calls and most number of people coming in for services,” he said.
Tranchita said it’s just “happenstance” that people think there’s more of a need for mental health services during the Christmas holidays.
“We’ve often looked to see what are the trends. Is there any gap that we can fill as a health department? You know, if it’s seasonal, and there really isn’t,” he said.
The Lake County Crisis Care Program has a 24-hour hotline available to anyone who needs to talk about problems they’re facing. The hotline number is 847-377-8088. The program also has in-person services for Lake County residents.