No More Normal: Mental Wellness

Sep 6, 2020


 As the summer season transitions into fall, it is important to note that September, the ninth month of the year, isn’t just for football and the start of school. It is also a month to raise awareness of suicide prevention and recovery. Both are already long-standing issues in our society—especially here in New Mexico. Coupled with the pandemics of COVID-19 and racism, hard feelings and thoughts can balloon. Left unattended or unnoticed, these issues lead to tragedy. But can we stop those tragedies before they happen? Talking things out and finding resources are two key solutions, and Episode 8 is full of options. This week we talk with counselors, therapists and people looking to help with an open ear, willing to hear about your problems and help you work through them. Because the world as it is today demands flexibility, but it’s tough to adjust to what you can’t see. 

 

 

If any of the conversations on this show surfaced sadness or anger, and you need to talk to someone, call the Warmline. People there are ready to hear you, even if you’re not in crisis. That’s why it’s a Warmline, not a hotline. 1-855-4NM-7100 (466-7100) between 3:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. every day.

Tara Haelle is a science journalist. For the publication Elemental, she wrote an essay on dealing with a long-term crisis called “Your Surge Capacity Is Depleted. It’s Why You Feel Awful.” The article’s about what we’re experiencing as this wears on, and it has tips about how to hang in there. Haelle was kind enough to record herself reading excerpts of the article for this episode, and we’ve threaded those throughout the hour.

Dr. Stephanie McIver is the counseling director for students at UNM and the founder of the New Mexico Black Mental Health Coalition. Host Khalil Ekulona spoke with her about how the reality we are living in is affecting our mental wellbeing.

 Late last year, Nahje Flowers, a lineman for UNM’s football team died by suicide after a battle with depression. His family is suing the university, the NCAA and former Head Coach Bob Davie, who they say ignored Flowers’ pleas for help and time off, forcing him to keep playing. They’re represented by Ben Crump, the nationally known lawyer, who’s also bringing cases forward on behalf of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Crump and lead attorney Mica Hilaire talk about the case 

 

 Wendy Linebrink-Allison is the program manager for the Crisis and Access Line and Kathleen Kuhl is a clinical specialist for the line. Both took some time to examine the changes they've seen since the start of the pandemic.

  For 50 years the Agora Crisis Center at the University of New Mexico has been helping the youth, parents, and the entire community using compassion and understanding. Associate Director Kyle Dougherty talks about what they are seeing as a result of the pandemic.

  We hear the word "resilience" thrown around a lot these days. But what does it really mean? Who has to be resilient and under what circumstances? Reporter Yasmin Khan talked to friends about the concept.

  New Mexico has seen an increase in unexpected deaths during the pandemic, and suicide is included in those numbers. The acting deputy director at the Treatment and Programs Bureau within the state’s Behavioral Health Services Division Tiffany Wynn joins the show to address how the state is tackling the problem.

Next week: We take a trip down memory lane (all 6 months of it) and take a look at some of the best and most profound moments of No More Normal and Your New Mexico Government. Tune in Sunday, Sept.13, at 11 a.m.

 RESOURCES:

 Special thanks to:

  • Adri De La Cruz for the artwork for this week
  • Yasmin Khan for contributing.
  • Jazztone the Producer, Cheo, Dahm Life, and Oh Lawd Records for providing music for the show.
  • Ty Bannerman and Nash Jones for helping out with the editing.
  • And as always thanks to our guests for sharing their stories, lives, and perspectives.

Sound design and composition for "Surge Capacity" by Demarco, based around a beat composed by Ekulona.

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New Mexico PBS, and the Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage comes from the New Mexico Local News Fund, The Kellogg Foundation and KUNM listeners like you, with support for public media provided by the Thrornburg Foundation.