Monday, December 7, 2009

CCSO, David Lawrence Center Offer Holiday Tips

The holidays can be a lot of fun, but they can also be hectic and at times even overwhelming. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office and the David Lawrence Center have advice to help you keep holiday stress to a minimum.

* Whether you’re stuck in traffic or standing in a long line of shoppers at the store, exercise patience. Remember that everyone around you is in as much of a hurry as you are. Take a deep breath and try to relax. Stressful situations can lead to aggression and poor decision making.

*The holidays can be precarious times for families, particularly those with a history of domestic violence. If you or someone you know is at risk for domestic violence, remember that help is available. Call the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Domestic Abuse Response Team at 793-9213 to report domestic violence or reach a victim advocate. If it is an emergency, call 911 instead. In addition, you can call the David Lawrence Center at 455-8500 for information on the Stop Abuse For Ever (SAFE) program, which offers therapy to help individuals understand the causes of domestic violence and work toward changing violent or controlling behavior.

* In some cases extreme stress can lead to self-destructive thoughts. Any expression of self harm must be taken seriously and brought to the attention of a health care provider. If you feel someone is suicidal, call 911 or, if they will come with you voluntarily, bring them to the David Lawrence Center Crisis Stabilization Unit for an assessment. Being empathetic, not leaving the individual alone and engaging them in conversation until help arrives can help the suicidal individual.

CCSO and the David Lawrence Center wish everyone a safe, happy and stress-free holiday season.