While many start the new year with commitments and optimism, January has been colloquially known as a difficult month for some people, both financially and emotionally.

Consultant and Clinical Supervisor at the Foothills Community Counselling Centre Thalia Anderen says, their clinical practice has seen an unusually steady amount of intake, both recently and during this year's Christmas season.

"We have seen an increase in intakes and people calling and requesting services throughout the year, to the point where we had a rather extensive waiting list earlier in 2018, so clearly, the need is there among the community. Typically, intake numbers tend to go down when people get busy and have a lot of holiday commitment, but one thing that we noticed was that our numbers stayed quite consistent this year and our counsellors were really busy."

Anderen says there are many reasons in January why people may be paying more careful attention to their mental health.

"The post holiday blues, as well as "Blue Monday" which is the third Monday of January. There is also the Bell "Let's Talk" campaign, which a lot of times does inspire people to seek out services, were they might otherwise have not thought about it."

"Blue Monday" falls on January 21 this year, and is marked as the day in which some speculate to be the most "depressing day of the year".

Just like getting back into shape, Anderen says, some people may not have the time or money to look into their mental health until the end of the holiday season.

"It's kind of like gyms right? You generally see a spike in people attending gyms, in January. I think also there are many people who consider seeing counselling services prior to the holiday season, but due to time and financial constraints, may wait until the new year to get started."


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