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Mental health clinic opens as seasonal depression numbers begin to increase

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 6:53 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Right Track Medical Group opened its newest mental health clinic in Flowood Wednesday, just before the holiday season.

The holidays are supposed to be a time of love, cheer, and joy. However, for many Americans, it’s just the opposite.

Right Track Therapist Katherine Baggett said seasonal depression doesn’t just impact those who are already diagnosed with depression.

“Everybody gets a little bit more depressed during the winter even if you’re not necessarily clinically depressed,” Baggett said.

Baggett said depression during the holidays isn’t uncommon because of specific triggers that many experience.

“You’re worrying about the extra stressors of getting together with family, traveling, buying gifts. It’s one of those times when we especially feel the loss of loved ones,” Baggett said.

Because many of these triggers are unavoidable, it’s important to recognize signs of depression early in both others and yourself.

“You’re looking for like, increase stress, you’re looking for increased anxiety, increased irritability. Just a general increased sensitivity is what you’re looking for in yourself,” Baggett said.

Flowood Mayor Gary Rhoads says he hopes the new clinic will help those who need counseling immediately so no one is stuck waiting for guidance.

“You break an arm, you go see a doctor right then. But if you have a mental health issue, you’ll wait 3 to 4 weeks. You know, time is of the essence when you’re dealing with mental health,” Rhoads said.

Rhoads and Baggett said with more mental health counseling available now, they hope folks who usually avoid therapy will seek the help.

“It may be just the holidays and you may be able to just shake it off once it’s done, but there may be things that linger,” Baggett said.

“There are too many people today giving up hope, and I think these people can help show the way to hope,” Rhoads said.

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