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Top mental health official urges moderation at Thanksgiving


Carlos Rodríguez Mateo, head of the Mental Health and Anti-Addiction Services Administration

By The Star Staff


Carlos Rodríguez Mateo, head of the Mental Health and Anti-Addiction Services Administration (ASSMCA), urged islanders on Wednesday to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with moderation and respect by sharing with family and other loved ones.


“This has been a challenging year in which we lost many Puerto Ricans to COVID-19. This fact should lead us to reflect on the fragility of life and move us to give thanks for being alive, respect the lives of others and give thanks for all that is significant that we do have,” Rodríguez Mateo said. “Based on this, I call for healthfulness and encourage citizens to use moderation if they are going to consume intoxicating beverages. We do not need more tragedies or loss of life. Remember that moderation is the best way to preserve your life and that of others. Please do it this way.”


The ASSMCA administrator emphasized that during the holidays, many people experience emotions of sadness, pain, anguish, fear, anger and emptiness. In general, he said, this occurs due to multiple factors such as financial difficulties, losses, delicate health situations, mental disorders and addiction disorders.


“Some people do not have the strength or support resources to cope with problems and may develop depression or seek escape from suicide,” Rodríguez Mateo said. “If you notice that someone close to you needs emotional help, please support them and seek help. You can call the PAS Line at 1-800-981-0023. This line has behavioral professionals available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

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