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New Mexico Association Launches Mental Health Awareness Initiative

By Cody Porter on November 06, 2020 hst Print

The New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) launched a Mental Health Awareness Campaign for the 2020-21 school year as part of its goal to recognize mental health among all New Mexico students.

“Now, more than ever, it’s so important to promote the mental, social and emotional well-being of our students and direct them to the resources they may need,” said Sally Marquez, NMAA executive director.

The initiative kicked off August 31 with a message of support from New Mexico Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales.

“I’m proud to partner with the New Mexico Activities Association on this mental health awareness campaign to ensure we are doing all we can for each other,” Morales said.

From August 31 to September 4, the NMAA posted various video messages from students, coaches and health professionals on its social media platforms.

For the remainder of the school year, the association will designate “Wellness Wednesdays” as an opportunity to continue to promote mental health awareness. Each post will be accompanied by the Crisis Line phone number (1-855-662-7474) along with the hashtag #YouMatter.

Discussion topics for “Wellness Wednesdays” include how to handle stress, recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, suicide prevention, and breaking any stigmas associated with mental health. So far, the NMAA has featured student-athletes, coaches, parents and health-care professionals, among others, in its posts.

The NMAA recognizes that many kids struggling with anxiety or depression never receive direct support from a qualified provider and would like to help prevent any further tragedies in its state.

“The focus on mental health awareness combined with the return to athletics and activities will go a long way in developing the well-being of our students,” Marquez added.

More information on the NMAA and its Mental Health Awareness Campaign is available on the NMAA’s various multimedia platforms such as its website (nmact.org), Twitter (@_NMAA), Facebook (New Mexico Activities Association) and Instagram (AllThingsNMAA).