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Blue Christmas: For some, the holiday’s bring more sadness than cheer

The Christmas tree, decorations and presents are all supposed to be signs of holiday cheer, but for some, the holidays can be anything but joyful. It’s a time when they experience their greatest grief.

It’s called Blue Christmas. And a group here in Southwest Florida is offering to help if you’re “down in the dumps” over the holidays.

Jorge Acevedo, the lead pastor at Grace Church, says, “It can be the obvious things… The loss of a loved one through death. It can be the loss of a marriage through a divorce, but it also kind of extends to things like people losing their homes, losing their pets, losing some kind of dream in their life.”

That’s why he and his church hold a Blue Christmas service to help people who struggle during this time of year.

“When we saw dozens and dozens of people coming in, we knew that we were at least addressing a very real need for people,” Acevedo said.

The CDC reports the connection between the holidays and higher suicide rates is a myth.

However, Eileen Wesley, director of Project Help says they do have a higher volume of callers struggling with grief, “We have seen more of the just reaching out looking for help, looking for somebody to hear their pain or hear their sadness.”

She says, support group, volunteering with a local organization, or calling a hotline are the best ways to lift your spirits.

The FCC approved a 9-8-8 suicide hotline that will help those feeling depressed or suicidal year-round.

The FCC’s approved three-digit suicide hotline (988) proposal has an 18-month process, so people will not be able to use it right away.

Wesley’s advice, “Talk to somebody. Don’t ever just turn your back on knowing that there might be somebody out there that will listen.” So that your holidays – and every day – can be a little brighter.

Grace Church’s Blue Christmas services will be held this Sunday:

  • Cape Coral Campus- 6 p.m.
  • Fort Myers Shores Campus- 6 p.m.
  • Fort Myers Central Campus- 6:30 p.m.
  • Sarasota Campus- 7 p.m.
  • Cape Coral Campus- 6 p.m.

Project Help 24/7 Crisis Helpline: (239)262-7227

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Reporter:Breana Ross
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