San Juan County’s Mental Wellness Resource Center celebrates one-year anniversary

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FARMINGTON, N.M. – County officials say the San Juan County Mental Wellness Resource Center is a helping hand, working to stop the stigma of asking for help in a time of crisis.

“All of us struggle, especially now in the past two years with COVID. They’ve seen incidents of anxiety, depression, fear just skyrocket and so people don’t always know where to go. So we just kind of hunker down and don’t do anything until we’re in enough pain that we’re either in a crisis or we’re ready to do something and that’s where having that helping hand comes in handy,” said Su Hodgman, director of Behavioral Health Services for San Juan County.

The center has peer mentors to help people get the resources they need.

“It helps people make those connections to all the services that they need. And as we meet with people we discover that they have other issue, like they don’t have insurance but they qualify for insurance and so our staff helps them enroll for services and if they don’t have food, we help them find food,“ Hodgman said.

In the past year, the center has served over 600 people. Over 100 of them were referred to the center directly by law enforcement. While the center has dealt with people in need of mental health and substance abuse services, there is one issue that has stood out, especially with the pandemic.

“Lately we’ve been having a lot of individuals seeking housing assistance, rental assistance. With COVID, things have been difficult,” said Cassandra Velasquez, peer mentor.

Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Mental Wellness Resource Center and they hope to continue the work for many more years.

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