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San Juan County, N.M., marks May as Mental Health Awareness Month

San Juan County, New Mexico, marks Mental Health Awareness Month in May with a goal to raise awareness about the importance of positive mental health, break the stigma of seeking help for mental health and inform people about resources available in the community.

Twenty percent of Americans suffer from mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit those already suffering especially hard, and others have suffered from declining mental health.

In San Juan County, adults and youths report mental health distress at a higher rate than in the rest of New Mexico, and higher than the national average. Almost 40% of San Juan County’s youths reported poor or unstable mental health in 2019.

In San Juan County, one of the perceived barriers to mental wellness is the availability of services to combat mental illness. The San Juan County Mental Wellness Resource Center opened in late 2020 to connect people with the resources they need for continuing mental wellness. Peer mentors help people navigate the path to a brighter mental future.

Resources are available at www.SJCConnect.net, (505) 636-7110 and at 814 W. Maple St., Farmington.