SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following message Thursday for the 2016 Holiday Season:
At this time of year, I am humbly reminded that not everyone in our neighborhood approaches Christmas and the New Year with the same excitement I do.
For most of us, the Holidays are a time of joy and celebration, but for some, they are anything but that. To those who are isolated and alone, the happiness of others during the Holidays can serve as a painful reminder of what may be lacking in their own lives. December can be a particularly difficult time for those dealing with family conflict, lost loved ones, break-ups, divorce, loneliness, job loss or mental health issues.
One of the highlights of this past year was working with the Legislature, community partners and many in the AG’s Office to launch the Safe UT crisis text/talk line to support teens suffering from abuse, depression, eating disorders, addictions or other mental health issues. It has also been an honor to work with the Utah veteran community to help those dealing with PTSD and other serious mental health challenges. Trying to keep teens, vets, or anyone from feeling suicide is their best option is one of the most important things we can do together.
In the coming year, I look forward to helping Utah become the model for a national, three-digit crisis line for all Americans who suffer from depression or any mental health challenge so they can get immediate help before it’s too late. So often, those who are suffering put on a brave face and on the surface may seem just fine. In many cases, it takes spending extra time listening, empathizing and not judging to understand the depths of their pain.
In the spirit of the season, please consider the gift of lifting someone in our community to a brighter place of hope. Let’s be mindful of those who may be alone or in pain. And let’s take extra time to reach out to friends and family because we never know who may be struggling with mental health issues, depression and even thoughts of suicide.
May God’s blessings be with you and your family for a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a healthy, prosperous New Year.