CHATTANOOGA, Tenn – It’s no secret that the year 2020 hasn’t been the best.

This year our area has been faced with community unrest, tornadoes, and a global pandemic causing us to be isolated from our normal routines.

With the holiday season here, Mental health experts want those who are feeling depressed, stressed, or overwhelmed to know that they aren’t alone.

“Things are worse around the holidays because we all have expectations. Weather , family expectations, loneliness, stress and finances can make the holidays stressful for everyone.This year is going to be exceptionally difficult for those who are struggling. Because the lack of access to your family, friends, and access to activities that typically boost moods around the holidays are going to be constricted in some capacity,” says Kristin Smith, Licensed Professional Counselor for Parkridge Medical Center.

Health experts say it’s important to recognize the signs of a mental health crisis.

“If you feel like there is no way out of this, there’s no way out of my financial crisis because of the pandemic, I’ve lost loved ones,Ii have lost everything. If you are feeling like there is no way out; that is one of our hallmark symptoms that you are heading for a crisis. There is help and there is hope,” says Eve Nite, Erlanger’s Community Liaison.

Officials encourage anyone who sees someone showing suicidal or depression symptoms to reach out and talk with them.

“Suicidal idealization can affect anyone; it doesn’t matter how old, how young or how middle of the road you are. Talking about Sucide and mental health with someone is super important when you recognize those symptoms. If you talk to that person and let them express how they are feeling, that usually is a great intervention and shows them that there is a lifeline,” says Regena Young, with Erlanger Outreach & Injury Prevention.

Health Experts say it’s important to keep a daily routine such as: getting out of bed and getting dressed, eating healthy meals, exercising, and communicating with friends and family even if it has to be virtual.