Songs of joy and laughter are playing on the radio, and everywhere people go, everything’s decorated with bright lights. 

But despite the holiday cheer, all these seasonal changes and activities can create a stressful time for many.

"Family stress, financial stress, sometimes relapses just due to those family stressors, the change in the weather, and means to get their children gifts and things like that,” all of which can add up, said Jennifer Giambra-Ort, the counseling program supervisor at Crisis Services. “That tends to be the themes that we see after the Thanksgiving period up until the Christmas season.”

In such an overwhelming time, organizations like Crisis Services and others across the state don't want anyone to feel alone.

"That idea is that if somebody calls in to the hotline that they would receive a warm, friendly person on the other end of the line to provide empathy and to provide support and to kind of help talk whatever problem or situation arises out with that individual,” Giambra-Ort said. “We're 24/7 so there's always somebody there if you don't have family, if you don't have friends, if you don't have relatives that you can utilize the hotline.”

The Crisis Services hotline is 716-834-3131.

On top of the added stress, the holidays can often be a reminder of loved ones that have died. That's why Samaritan Counseling Center is offering workshops for anyone dealing with grief this holiday season.



"We thought we would offer a three-week, every Monday night, group for people who lost loved ones,” explained Rev. Janet Hubbard, a social worker with the Samaritan Counseling Center. “Anyone is welcome, but we're going to particularly focus on those who've lost loved ones, like I said, due to a trauma or an addiction and particularly help them through this holiday season.”