Lawmakers consider adding mental wellness rooms to schools statewide

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SANTA FE, N.M. — The Public School Wellness Room Pilot Program hopes to help students across the state address mental health.

After there was an influx of student suicides at Eldorado High School, multiple students reached out to Rep. Pamelya Herndon to talk with her about the idea of wellness rooms.

“I began to meet with students from Alamogordo all the way up to Taos to talk about how their mental health was doing,” Herdon said. “At the time, it was COVID, and then with the gun violence that was erupting within our state. This mental wellness room was driven by students.”

It is a space where students can go to self regulate their emotions, reflect on their mental health, and just take time to decompress. The legislation, House Bill 112, would require all middle and high schools in the state to come up with a plan to create one of these rooms.

A few high schools already have them in place. Herndon said you can see the positive impact they have on students.

HB 112 is currently waiting to be heard on the House floor, but funding for the wellness rooms is also included in the state’s budget, which is one vote away from final approval. So, even if HB 112 doesn’t pass this session, wellness rooms could still be on their way to schools across the state.

Track HB 112 during the legislative session.