May is Mental Health Month
May is National Mental Health Month
Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week is May 1-7
A Dose of Wellness was launched two years ago when Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced May as Mental Health Awareness Month in New Mexico and that there is no health without mental health. Since then, we’ve been spreading the word to all New Mexicans that mental health is equally important as a person’s physical health and something everyone should care about. Seeking treatment should be just as normal as seeing a doctor for a cold, an injury, or any other illness. For many, there is still a stigma and they are afraid or ashamed about asking for help. Together, we can erase this stigma by having honest conversations about our mental and emotional wellness with our family members and loved ones.
The theme of Mental Health Month is to look at how you can surround yourself with coping help in favor of your mental well-being. Self-assessments for anxiety and depression are available online and only take a moment to complete. Many of us struggle with these issues every day—and the good news is, real help is available. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to confidentially talk to someone immediately, you can call, text or chat #988 any hour of the day, seven days a week. 988 has helped hundreds of thousands since July 2022.
You might consider calling #988 if you are:
- Worried about your safety or someone you know;
- Having a hard time managing strong emotions;
- Feeling hopeless, confused, angry or lonely;
- Worried about alcohol or drug use (substance use);
- Need information or referrals for local community services;
- In need of talking with someone outside of your current situation about a situation;
- A service member or veteran or a concerned family member;
- Experiencing abuse or neglect;
- Experiencing dating issues or domestic violence;
- Struggling with eating disorders;
- Dealing with discrimination;
- Worried about parental discord or bullying; or
- Stressed about work and having high anxiety.
Providers across New Mexico are helping people work through their troubles and find solutions. The New Mexico Department of Human Services, Behavioral Health Services Division (BHSD) supports a wide range of programs that are offered through behavioral health providers. If you or someone you love needs to find help, a good place to start is at their website, www.treatmentconnection.com.
No community in New Mexico can be well until we all are well. To be well, we must recognize that mental health is just as critical as physical health. New Mexicans from every county are encouraged to take the #DoseOfWellness pledge and commit to being aware, being kind, being inclusive, and being healthy. Make the effort to embrace mental health conversations with your family, with your friends, and with your neighbors. Together, we can take a dose of wellness and build healthy, thriving communities.
Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week is May 1-7. Depression and anxiety are some of the most common mental health issues experienced by new mothers. Emotional well-being is important for mothers caring for and raising children. Virtually all mothers will experience a sudden drop in hormones and mood changes known as the “baby blues” shortly after giving birth and one in five women struggle longer with their mental wellness.
In New Mexico, women who experienced postpartum depression were three times more likely to have stress during the 12 months before their baby was born including:
- Partner stress, such as a divorce or domestic violence.
- Financial stress, such as living in poverty or losing a job.
- Traumatic stress such as a close person struggling with a drug or alcohol problem or emotional stress, such as a close family member being very sick or passing away.
Twenty percent of all new mothers experience emotional hardship after having a baby. If you or a new mother you know are having any of the following symptoms, it is important to get help:
- Feeling sad or depressed.
- Feeling more irritable or angry with those around you.
- Having difficulty bonding with your baby.
- Feeling anxious or panicky.
- Having problems with eating or sleeping.
- Having upsetting thoughts you can’t get out of your mind.
- Feeling like you’re out of control or losing touch with reality.
- Feeling like you never should have become a parent.
- Worrying that you might hurt your baby or yourself.
Learning the best way to manage these emotions through treatment can help and is available.
Surrounding ourselves with help every day is important, and if you know a new mother or father who might be struggling, be proactive in helping them find the necessary help. They might be facing barriers to healthcare due to a lack of insurance or a language barrier that prevents them from asking for assistance. BHSD supports programs that deliver comprehensive, culturally informed services to new mothers that include caring for their postpartum mental health as well as connecting them to additional resources for support.
Mental health support and treatment is available to New Mexicans who qualify at low or no financial cost. Medicaid has recently been expanded to offer programs that benefit new mothers and families, like home visiting to help families achieve healthy pregnancies, births, and newborns. It will also cover continuous medical care for New Mexico children up to age six, supportive housing programs to provide safe and stable housing to at-risk individuals and access to home-delivered meals to meet nutrition needs.
Maternal depression is a widespread public health issue that takes a toll on the well-being and livelihood of mothers and their families. It demands a strong community response involving people who share a common vision to strengthen the health and resilience of all mothers and families in need of help and support. All mothers, fathers, and families deserve support during pregnancy and parenthood. Maternal depression is a treatable condition, with full recovery possible with the right assistance.
- 988 New Mexico – Call, text or chat #988 24/7
- BHSD Treatment Connection – Are you Seeking Mental Health Treatment? Find help now with our state-vetted treatment providers. All searches are confidential.
- Postpartum Support International New Mexico is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to helping those suffering from perinatal mood disorders, the most common complication of childbirth.
- Looking for New Mexico Assistance – HSD Assistance Portal to learn about and apply for benefits like Medicaid, SNAP or income assistance
- New Mexico Behavioral Health Providers Association
- National Latina Behavioral Health Providers Association
- New Mexico Tribal Behavioral Health Providers Association
- NMDOH – Maternal and Child Health Programs
- Mom’s Mental Health Matters
- Identifying Maternal Depression
- MHA Self-Assessment: Anxiety
- MHA Self-Assessment: Depression
Through a series of promotions, Dose of Wellness will increase public awareness, provide helpful resources, and reduce the stigma, misconceptions and false information surrounding health issues. This campaign will help New Mexicans identify risky or dangerous behaviors using screening tools and entry points for additional resources.