The holidays are a time to log off from work, celebrate with family and friends, exchange gifts, share traditional meals and make memories that can last a lifetime.
This time of year, however, can be difficult for those who are struggling with personal challenges such as the aftermath of sexual violence.
“Please remember that for anyone who is struggling during this time of year, that it is OK and that there is support through the DLA Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, as well as those you love,” said Gina Ingrao, the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.
If you know someone who is struggling, you can support them through active listening, asking helpful questions and directing them to professional resources, Ingrao said.
“I’m glad you’re sharing this with me,” and, “I care about you and am here to listen or help any way I can,” are examples of helpful statements to use, Ingrao said.
“It may seem like a daunting task, but one way to help is through the concept of ‘holding space,’ which requires you to listen thoroughly and surrender the urge to fix the situation or react with judgement,” she said. “Just being physically, mentally and emotionally present for someone helps.”
For help coping with sexual violence, the DLA SAPR Hotline at 1-800-841-0937 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network has a free and confidential hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE and a live anonymous chat on their website. Ingrao can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Other mental health resources include:
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration website
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. To reach the Veterans Crisis Line, press 1.