A La Ronge mental health therapist is opening her practice during what some people consider the the worst time of the year: Christmas holidays.

Sheila Price, who has been a therapist for 10 years, will be available for sessions from Dec. 24 to 27 and Dec. 31 to Jan. 2, when most other offices will be closed.

Price said after seeing the need for a similar service in the past, it was an easy decision.

“Something about this correlation of a lot of days without your regular person mixed with Christmas being the worst time of year, frankly, for a lot of people,” she said. “Those two going together mixed with my availability as an individual, it was less of a ‘why.’ It was ‘why the heck not.’”

Price said the holiday season can increase stress felt during the other days of the year.

“Christmas really amplifies and holds up a shining light  to everything we’ve already been dealing with as humans during the rest of the year.”

These stressors can include financial difficulties and grief.

“A lot of the times, we do think of grief and bereavement of someone having actually passed, but grief and bereavement can also be having a relationship break-up, having moved away from your safe, comfortable people–that’s also something that can catch up to us and catch us off guard on Christmas,” Price said.

Price explained the pressure of being joyful during the supposedly ‘happiest time of the year’ can also contribute to these stressors.  

To book a session with Price, or to ask her questions, she recommends sending her an email at sheilapricetherapy@gmail.com. Price also said Treaty individuals are able to get funding for these sessions through the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch or through Victim Services.

Other resources for mental health are Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, Canada Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-833-456-4566 or Hope for Wellness Hotline, which has services in Cree and English, at 1-855-242-3310.

(PHOTO: Sheila Price has been a mental health therapist for 10 years. Photo courtesy of Sheila Price.)