The Impact - JF Maddox Foundation July 2022 - Page 6

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Mayra Lovas Attends State-Wide Conference on Behavioral Health and Brings Ideas back to Lea County

Mayra Lovas Attends State-Wide Conference on Behavioral Health and Brings Ideas back to Lea County

New Mexico First Behavioral Health Town Hall

In June , I travelled to Albuquerque to participate in my first New Mexico First ( NM First ) Town Hall that focused on behavioral health . Behavioral health relates to the connection between behavior and the health of one ’ s mind , body , and spirit . It is the way habits affect mental and physical health . New Mexico ( NM ) has some of the highest rates of suicide ( second highest in the country ), alcohol related deaths ( 1 in 5 ), and children experiencing more than three Adverse Childhood Experiences ( ACEs ) – potentially traumatic experiences , which have a lasting effect on a person ’ s wellbeing throughout their lifetime . According to a study conducted by Boston University , depression among adults in the United States
This alarming data led to NM First prioritizing behavioral health as the issue for the annual town hall . The mission of NM First is to build consensus on critical issues facing our state and communities enabling positive policy changes . The goal of the town hall was to gather as many people as possible from all over the state to develop actionable recommendations to transform behavioral health in New Mexico .
The town hall consisted of group educational sessions on agencies that address needs and smaller break out groups that develop recommendations to share with the larger group for consensus voting on day two . The goal of the breakout groups on day one was to develop consensus on three recommendations to share with the larger group for day two . Day two , the smaller groups looked over all recommendations and made edits . At the end of the town hall the larger group came together to vote on what recommendations will move forward for the staff of NM First . The NM First staff and an implementation team , made up of volunteers , will research and investigate which recommendations to move forward and introduce to legislators .
It will take the effort of many people to address the disparities in behavioral health in our state . The efforts of the hundreds of attendees at the town hall are a start . This was an interesting experience , and it was very important work . I met people from all over the state and was happy to see some fellow Lea County friends . I would encourage folks to learn more and to get involved in the future . It is important that all voices are heard , and all are encouraged to register for the event and participate . Be on the lookout for next Town Hall topic , participate in the local community conversations , and state-wide Town Hall !