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As COVID-19 Threatens Traditional Holiday Season, WKU Mental Health Expert Urges Creativity

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A mental health counselor at Western Kentucky University is urging families to improvise this holiday season in place of their traditional gatherings. 

From cooking and shopping, to gift-giving and holiday parties, COVID-19 is replacing the typical stress of the season with loneliness and anxiety. 

Lacretia Dye is a licensed counselor and professor at Western Kentucky University.  In an interview with WKU Public Radio, Dye said it’s important to have the right perspective to avoid feeling depressed or isolated.

“How can we reframe it and say this is a challenge?" she asked. "I’m not able to do it how I usually do it, but what’s another way he could creatively do it? Perhaps we could do it over the phone or talk about what we plan to do next year.”

Dye said it’s important to improvise as COVID-19 threatens the traditional holiday season, and keep in mind the upended holidays are one moment in time that won’t be permanent. 

In partnership with The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, Dye is leading a series of webinars through the end of the year on overcoming stress amid the holidays and the pandemic.

Bringing Justice Back to Our Bodies is a free, 30-minute webinar offered every Friday through Dec. 25.

If you are struggling with mental health issues, several care and crisis lines are available to help:

Hosparus Health Grief Center 800-264-0521
Bluegrass Care Navigators, Grief Care 855-492-0812
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK (8255)
National Youth Crisis Hotline 800-442-HOPE (4673)
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741

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