In September we celebrated the gains made by those in recovery, brought attention to suicide prevention, and shared resources that allow us to strengthen and reinforce that behavioral health is essential to overall health.
By increasing awareness we foster a greater understanding about mental health, behavioral health, substance use disorders, and suicide. Lives are transformed through sharing stories. Recovery month provided a vehicle for people to celebrate accomplishments of those that have survived and are thriving, while also showing others that recovery is possible if they are ready to step into it.
Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community
The State of New Mexico Behavioral Health Services Division Office of Peer Recovery & Engagement continues to highlight New Mexican Faces and Voices of Recovery and share stories that offer hope. You’ll see that everyone’s journey through recovery is different, yet no one is alone in that journey. We are all in this together. Speak up and share successes and struggles with family, neighbors, friends, and colleagues. Continue creating paths to wellness.
Although the month is wrapping up, there is still so much more that we need to do.
- Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States with over 44,800 individuals having died by suicide in 2019. Sadly, rates of deaths by suicide across all populations have held consistently high since 2016, peaking in 2018. Thankfully, these rates appeared to have lowered slightly over 2020, and that it is believed to be in part due to a surge in the use of online and telehealth mental health resources. Continue to advocate for people and reduce deaths by suicide. Take a free online screening to better understand mental health conditions. Download the NMConnect app so you have access to resources when you need them,
- Know that addiction continues to be a national crisis, and has strongly increased in strength and numbers during the pandemic. So, while rates of deaths by suicide lowered in 2020, deaths due to addiction increased. In 2020 we saw a 59% increase in reports of alcohol use, and a five percent increase in opioid overdose rates (their highest level since the 1990s), with communities of color increasingly impacted. Help reduce the impact of addiction. Begin a self-guided roadmap to understanding and addressing addiction with the NM 5-Actions Program.
Understand that there has never been a more urgent time to help prevent suicides and break the cycle of addiction.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental or behavioral health concerns, thoughts of suicide, substance use, or other emotional experiences, we want you to know there is help, hope, and support. You can access resources for immediate safety and long-term support by calling the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line to talk to a mental health professional. 1-855-662-7474