It's been a tough couple weeks for the Westport community and the nation at large. Shortly after Christmas, the community saw the tragic death of one of its younger residents. A week later, a man apparently committed suicide in a relatively prominent location.

The town lost one of its most colorful characters, Mr. Edward Keehan -- the one whose devotion to his fellow veterans drove him to work tirelessly toward restoring the town's Honor Roll (see related story).

Nationally, tragedy struck more than once in Afghanistan in the last two weeks. Not to mention a terrorist attempt in the U.S. on Christmas Day.

The state made national headlines this week when a Greenwich man allegedly turned on his own family. The Dobrzanski family and friends awoke to almost incomprehensible news when Adam Dobrzanski killed his daughter before attempting to kill himself in an apparent muder-suicide.

Taken in as a whole, the news can get depressing. Compound that with the dropping temperatures that tend to coop us up inside our homes -- meteorologists are predicting the coldest winter in 30 years -- and that is a recipe for melancholy for too many of us.

We hope that during this time of potential sadness, area residents will remember that there are so many resources available at our disposal to help us break out of whatever funk we may find ourselves in.

For those who are struggling to get through the day, reach out to the various mental health facilities in the area -- there are so many, and a quick Internet search can help you find a variety of services right here in Westport -- from Hall-Brooke to Positive Directions to private practices.

We also ask Westport residents to be aware that their friends and neighbors might be going through a tough time right now. Offer to lend a hand or just an ear. Find ways to cheer up your fellow townsman. Don't add to the situation by being unpleasant and rude when faced with a frustrating situation. Just take a deep breath and remember that others might be going through a tough time right now.

It's so easy to get caught up in our own thoughts and overly absorbed in our own lives. There are so many lifelines available, from mental health services to entertainment to recreational activities, right here in Westport. Reach out and find that positive spark that will help get you through the tough times.

For an idea of what activities are going on in town, check this newspaper, the town's Web site (www.Westportct.gov) or the Westport Public Library Web site (www.Westportlibrary.org), which, in addition to their own activities, the sites have links to other valuable community resources.