As seasonal blues start to take a toll, WellSpace@Work’s mental health counseling provides support for businesses and their employees
PORTLAND, MAINE, UNITED STATES, January 16, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — In addition to being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the third Monday in January is also less commonly known as “Blue Monday.” Blue Monday is widely perceived to be the most depressing day of the year based on a variety of factors including the darkness of winter, the lowering levels of vitamin D in our bodies, and the point at which our commitment to our new year’s intentions begin to wane. The recognition of this day has built momentum over the past several years, boosting awareness of depression and other mental health issues related to seasonal changes. Our awareness of depression and other mental health concerns is especially heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has the potential to create an upcoming mental health crisis throughout the country, including in the workplace.
“The symptoms of winter blues and the more severe Seasonal Affective Disorder (also called Depression with a seasonal pattern) usually occur during the fall and winter and improve with the arrival of spring. January and February tend to be the most difficult months for those experiencing depression related to seasonal changes. Many people continue to face the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health which makes this year more challenging for those with winter blues or SAD. With all the stressors employees are facing today, offering a readily accessible, barrier-free path to counseling is a significant benefit that employers can consider,” said Lindy Graham, LCSW.
In Maine, 35% of people suffer from winter blues, 15-19% from mild cases of SAD and 9% from SAD. Seasonal blues are also shown to have a higher impact on people living in locations further from the equator, including Maine, as winter daylight hours are fewer. This seasonal depression can result in feelings of sadness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, low energy and other symptoms that can impact employees’ experience and performance in the workplace. COVID-related stress only makes the situation worse, with nearly 70 percent of workers affected.
WellSpace@Work was created as an avenue for Maine employers to offer access to local, confidential mental health counseling for their employees struggling with the myriad of challenges right now, like winter blues, SAD and COVID-19-related stress. As the seasonal blues intensify with daylight hours remaining short, employers can offer counseling sessions for employees through WellSpace@Work. Using the sessions paid for by their employer, employees can seek the proper treatment for their winter blues with therapists from WellSpace@Work. WellSpace@Work’s clinicians are well versed in the different treatment methods for seasonal blues and SAD which allows them to create customized treatment plans.
Treatment of winter blues benefits the employee by reducing the severity of symptoms and lifting the heaviness of depression. Through WellSpace@Work, employers demonstrate that they are committed not only to their employees’ safety but their overall wellbeing as well.
WellSpace@Work is a division of WellSpace Maine, a counseling center providing treatment to adults, couples, families, and children. WellSpace@Work contracts directly with employers to provide local, confidential, barrier-free access to counseling services. Located in Portland and Yarmouth, Maine, WellSpace was founded in 2017 by Lindy Graham, a licensed clinical social worker with 15 years of private practice experience. For more information about WellSpace, visit wellspacemaine.com.