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Counselor Offers Free Mental Health Fridays

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By Jay Michaels

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) It's no news to any of us that the holidays can cause plenty of stress on our minds, bodies, and wallets. But you can lighten your mental load by basically taking a deep breath first.

People joke about "keeping up with the Joneses" during the holiday season. But a local counselor says the best was to destress your family and the holidays is to keep it simple instead. He says creating memories for your family is more important than spending too much, or trying to insure that they have "the perfect holiday."

Dr. Eric F. Jones of Preferred Child and Family Services says, "Sensory input, smells, activities, things that you do together. Service, taking an opportunity to do something for a family, or going to one of the kitchens. Our community is just so well known for opportunities to serve."

If you want to find out how you're doing emotionally, you can stop by Preferred Child and Family Services at 284 Martin Street in Twin Falls. Doctor Jones and his staff are offering free mental health assessments between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. every Friday through the end of January.

Counseling Intern Sarah Bender says, "It takes about 15 minutes. We've got lots of good information about different things, depression, anxiety, different kinds of self-care things."

Jones says there are 25 dominant languages spoken here in Magic Valley. He says that gives us all a chance to learn how people who've moved here from other countries celebrate Christmas where they're from.

Jones also says there's freedom when you realize that the holidays aren't about what you have materially, but how you let yourself receive in other ways.

He says, "It's a season of remembering and recovering gratitude from all sources."

Dec. 7, 2012.


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