For some, it starts with Daylight Saving Time’s adjustment that steals away an hour of afternoon sunlight. For others, it can be the arrival of winter holidays or the prospect of facing a new year without loved ones who no longer are around. 

Sometimes, the elusiveness of reasons for certain emotions can prove to be stressful all by itself. 

For people for whom the comparative loss of sunlight can affect their moods, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can hamper their ability to navigate everyday life. Eating Well states that eating certain kinds of foods – such as those rich in omega-3 fatty acids – can be a help. Exercise also has been found to help maintain mental wellness. For more information on the benefits of age-appropriate exercise, visit our page on being more active.  

For other factors that can make late fall and winter months challenging to one’s mental wellness, DHMH offers a host of resources promoting mental wellness​. ​

Getting Help

Maryland’s Public Mental Health System (PMHS) provides inpatient and outpatient mental wellness services for individuals with mental illness, those with Medicaid and for others, because of the severity of their illness and their financial need, some services within the benefits package may be available. There may be a small fee or co-pay required for individuals non-eligible for Medicaid.

All services within the PMHS are provided based on eligibility and medical necessity criteria.

A toll-free number is available to offer assistance or to answer questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1-800-888-1965.

Anyone needing immediate assistance should seek help.

Feeling overwhelmed to the point of feeling suicidal or homicidal requires immediate attention. If you believe you need urgent / emergency care, please contact your health practitioner, and/or seek assistance at your local emergency department.

Maryland’s Youth Crisis Hotline is available 24 hours/7 days a week to provide support, guidance and assistance. Call 1-800-422-0009. 

How do I know if I or someone else needs help? 

  • You may need help if:
  • You cannot cope with daily life;
  • You feel sad, stressed or worried;
  • You are not sleeping or eating well;
  • You want to hurt yourself or others; and/or 
  • You are troubled by strange thoughts (e.g., hearing voices).

If you are not sure what to do, call ValueOptions at 1-800-888-1965.