Rogers Behavioral Health

Why the holiday season is a good time to seek help for your mental health

Posted on 12/09/22 11:23:am


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The holidays are supposed to be a joyful season of making memories with family and friends. However, “the most wonderful time of the year” doesn’t ring true for everyone. According to NAMI, 64% of people with mental health challenges say the holidays make their symptoms worse.

“Routines are typically thrown off this time of year,” says Cesalie Stepney, PhD, psychologist and clinical director at Rogers in Seattle. “Additional plans which can include family visits, along with increased financial burdens, can contribute to added stress.”

While you may feel sad, lonely, anxious, or depressed during the final weeks of the year, often referred to as the “holiday blues,” Dr. Stepney says mental illness impacts your daily functioning.

“If you’re having trouble sleeping or finding it difficult to get out of bed, start your day, and do your normal day-to-day activities like eating, sleeping, or getting kids to school, I would recommend seeking professional help,” she says.

A packed calendar can make it tempting to put that off.

“People are so busy they think, ‘I just need to get through the next week or month,’” she says. “Waiting can make what you’re experiencing worse, and it’s often a longer road to recovery. Oftentimes, if we catch things early, treatment can be preventative.”

Dr. Stepney says putting yourself first can lead to a more fulfilling holiday season and healthier relationships.

“Getting the support you need will give you the skills to manage your time and your interactions with family,” she says. “If you’re a parent, you can better support your kids who may have their own stressors. People think about taking care of everyone else before taking care of themselves, and what they tell you on an airplane is good advice - put on your own oxygen mask first before helping someone else. You need to take care of yourself to take care of others.”

Rogers offers specialized care throughout the U.S., including:

  • Partial hospitalization care (PHP): 6 to 6.5 hours a day, five days a week.
  • Intensive outpatient care (IOP): 3 hours a day, four to five days a week.
  • Residential care facilities in Wisconsin provide intensive psychiatric and addiction care typically lasting 30 to 90 days.
  • Inpatient care in Oconomowoc, West Allis, and Brown Deer, Wisconsin, provide stabilization during an acute episode, with a length of stay based on the needs of the patient and condition.

Our Patient Financial Services team will work with you to understand your insurance coverage, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums.

“Most policies renew at the start of the year, so by December, it’s usually the case that patients will owe less, or nothing, towards their deductible, and may even have reached their out-of-pocket maximum,” says Shannon Boling, executive director of Utilization Review. “Even if your insurance is changing, there’s no need to wait. Rogers’ Utilization Review department will work with your current insurance until the end of the year, then reach out to your new insurance to verify benefit coverage and obtain medical necessity authorization.”

Call 800-767-4411 or go to to request a free screening.