COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The holidays are a time of joy and celebration for many. But they can be difficult to navigate for those who are experiencing loss or facing challenges.

That’s why mental health experts want people to be aware of resources that are available if they’re in need. 

Linda Jakes has been with Concord Counseling Services for the past 34 years. She says it’s key that people know about the resources that are available this holiday season. 

Jakes says some of the options people have this holiday if they need mental health services are counselors on chat, and crisis line options by call or text. . 

“This is unprecedented — this year we’ve actually gone up almost triple the number of calls we would normally get during a given day,” she explained.  

Jakes added their team is down about 20 people right now and their profession is also seeing a shortage. 

The crisis line and chat she says are good ways to get directed to services even if there is a waitlist. 

“The emotional support line — to help you through that period until you can get in to see someone face is really helpful.” 

The pandemic, Jakes explains, has been a trigger for many people, whether it’s experiencing a loss of a loved one, a job, stress, any number of things. 

At a December 8th news conference, city leaders also talked about the violence the city has faced in 2021 and the record number of homicides. 

“There will be empty chairs in our community this Christmas,” said Public Safety Director Robert Clark.  

Jakes says now is the time to check on family and friends. Ask them how they’re doing and if they need help. 

She says if​ there is one silver lining out of the pandemic, it’s that people are more open to discuss mental health. 

“It’s a wonderful thing that people are willing to look at how they manage their mental health the same way they manage every other piece of their body.” 

Again, there is crisis hotline available with several ways to reach out. 

Here’s a list of Emergency/Crisis numbers and more information for help with Concord Counseling Services.

  • Netcare Access: 614-276-2273 
  • Suicide Prevention Hotline: 614-221-5445 
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 
  • Crisis Text Line: Text 4hope to 741 741 
  • Poison Control Hotline: 800-222-1222 
  • Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.