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      Beating the holiday blues

      The time of year that is supposed to be the most wonderful may not be so cheerful for some. Whether it is family tensions or outright loneliness, the holidays can be glum and even exhausting.

      Dial Help in Houghton, a non-profit funded with support from the Copper Country United Way and United Ways of Dickinson and Marquette counties, says although December is not their busiest month of the year, many people will reach out to them Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

      â??Those days seem like we get a spike in calls, texts, instant messages from people either having maybe issues with their family or maybe issues with depression or anxiety,â?? said Crisis Unit Program Manager, Eliisa Laitila.

      Dial Helpâ??s services revolve around helping others help themselves by figuring out what may have worked for a person before or encouraging conflict resolution.

      â??Can they connect with a family member, or a friend, a neighbor, a pastor, AA sponsor, someone like that,â?? Laitila said. â??We kind of help them explore whom they might be able to reach out to after the phone call has ended with us.â??

      Places like Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly in Hancock are proactive about seeking out the solitary by offering a hot Christmas dinner at ten locations from Houghton to Ontonagon to Marquette for the elderly and their families.

      â??That is the main reason why weâ??re here is to end isolation, to be there, to be friends,â?? said Executive Director, Chris DeGiulio. â??I donâ??t know of any other reason why people should be alone.â??

      â??Itâ??s all about what works for that person in that situation,â?? Laitila added. â??We donâ??t necessarily give advice. Itâ??s all about what might work for them, how they can work through the situation, and weâ??re there for support to help them through that.â??

      To contact Dial Helpâ??s hotline, call (906) 482-HELP, text (906) 35-NEEDS, or chat online at

      Little Brothers will serve a hot meal on December 25 beginning at 2 p.m. at:

      St. Anneâ??s Church in BaragaHoly Family Catholic Church in OntonagonDoelle Senior Center in TapiolaGrace Lutheran Church in South RangeSt. Ignatius Church in HoughtonChurch of the Resurrection in HancockSacred Heart Church in CalumetCopper City Community Building in Copper CityHoughton Medical Care in HancockSt. Christopherâ??s Catholic Church in Marquette