Christmas can be the most joyous time of year, but it can also take one to the depths of depression or worse.
Big Country Victim Services responds to crises in the Drumheller, Hanna and Oyen areas: this holiday season, they responded to two suicides.
"The suicides we had were people in their 30's," noted program coordinator Judy Nelson. "They've got so much life ahead of them and they just can't see past right now."
"They don't know what to do next and they need that guidance," she explained. "Sometimes we're only there an hour; other times we could be there 13 hours because we won't leave them alone until they get full family or friends' support."
One of the biggest causes of domestic strife is financial pressure and Nelson says Christmas can often push matters out of control.
"People feel they've got to spend and give nice gifts," she outlined. "Just being with family can be the most important part, if they just looked at it that way, but they just get so the money isn't there and the pressure is there and they just can't see past it. It's so sad."
She added January and February can also be very stressful when Christmas bills come in, then things start to get back to normal.
Nelson urges anyone who's going through a tough time to seek counselling or contact Victim Services and they will try to put you in touch with the right people.

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