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I hope this finds you all keeping healthy and safe. I have seen many helpful articles and stories on TV, the internet, and social media about the importance of social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid19. There have also been numerous suggestions about how to keep yourself occupied to prevent boredom. What I want to focus on today is the importance of not only your physical health, but also your mental health. I’m talking about more than just keeping occupied to prevent boredom. Many of us grew up with social norms that discouraged seeking help for depression, anxiety, and other mental ailments. It is easy for us to heed advice to keep ourselves and our loved ones physically healthy, but when it comes to our mental health, we tend to neglect this important part of ourselves, feeling, we should “just deal with it” or “get over it.”

I want to emphasize that whoever you are and wherever you are, you are not alone! And you should not in any way feel that there is something wrong with you or that you are weak if you reach out for help. This is an extremely stressful time for everyone. Whether you are practicing self-quarantine, or are one of the essential employees or the family member of one of the essential employees, you are likely feeling a roller coaster of emotions that you may have never experienced before. Please do not hesitate or feel ashamed to pick up the phone and reach out to one of the many available crisis response hotlines. Those listed below are available 24/7 to take your call. What you are feeling is normal in an abnormal situation, but you do not have to struggle alone. And, please remember those friends, neighbors, and loved ones who may be struggling in silence. Not everyone feels comfortable with social media and may not have access to this information. I have included the numbers of some crisis hotlines at the bottom of this letter. You can find more detailed information and resources from UNMH HERE

Remember, staying healthy includes staying mentally healthy also. We cannot be the best friend, neighbor, colleague, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, or mother unless we are completely healthy. Until next time, take care of yourself and each other.

New Mexico Crisis and Access Line: 855-662-7474 (855-NMCRISIS)

Agora Crisis hotline: 855-505-4505, or toll free: 866-HELP-1-NM or 866-435-7166

Solace Crisis hotline: 800-721-7273 (se habla español)

Veterans Crisis Hotline: 800-273-8255, press 1 Toll Free (se habla español)

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