OPEN on TS of movement over the MASK eyes slowly and fade out to black.

OPEN CREDIT white on black.

As this sequence continues with the MASK eyes, we HEAR:

Laura Carlisle, Facilitator

NAMI Albuquerque Peer Support Group:

I’ve lived with severe depression since I was a kid and I’ve had post traumatic stress disorder since I was a teenager. I have symptoms that come at different levels. Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes that’s a struggle. Sometimes I’m so anxious that every muscle in my body is tense at the same time for three weeks and I can’t sleep. That’s what dealing with symptoms of those illnesses can be like for me.

Fade up on MASK eye from a different angles and then FTB between

OPEN CREDIT white on black

We are FINISHED with the above bite and see SYNC SOUND WITH:


And in that, I still am a mother. I still am a successful professional and I still do an extensive amount of volunteer and advocacy work. It’s just something that I manage, like I would manage any other part of my well being.



What you see on the outside with kids is not always the story that’s happening on the inside. I think when you’re young, your inside life is almost more real than your outside life. Your emotions can be very overwhelming, especially if you’re dealing with early signs of a mental illness.

WS Hallway and we see Jessie and Alex enter and walk in shadow as WE HEAR:

Jessie Hix,  Photographer:

There’s a mentor and a mentee and I was a mentor to Alex so basically we just got to know each other and connected through photography.

MUSIC UP as we SEE the girls walk into the hallway in sillouette.

Alix Hirschman, Photographer:

When I’m shooting pictures, I don’t know, I’m just free. I get to be unique and it doesn’t matter because I get the choice of whether I get to share it with the world or not, ////and I don’t care what other people think.

MUSIC UP and girls come down the hallway


Seeing her out of the house and seeing her excited about something is really neat.


Jessie’s been a great help to me.  Honestly, I wouldn’t be doing photography if it wasn’t for Jessica.

WE SEE the girls come to the table and set up the camera.  HEAR NAT SOUND of them discussing the camera and then CUT TO:


A lot of the time people experiencing mental illness can be very isolated so this project really allows for the mentee and the mentor to get to know each other and get out which, can be huge for people experiencing metal illness.


I loved watching Jessie who was my mentor do it ’cause she’s just amazing at photography, and I’ve wanted to do things like that, but I’ve struggled so much with my anxiety or dealing with my image from my eating disorder and everything that I have a hard time committing to things.

Roshel Lenroot, MD  Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist:

Looking what’s happening normally in the teen brain, we think probably has a lot to do with why certain kinds of disorders start to appear during adolescence.    Actually in early teenage years the brain starts to decrease in size. What we’re seeing is that you’re getting smarter even though your brain’s shrinking, your brain is becoming more integrated. It’s not how much you’ve got, it’s how well it’s working together.  If something’s happening in your brain so that too much of it goes, whether it’s due to a genetic problem or exposures to different kinds of stress. That maybe it’s an exacerbation of that normal pruning process. That might go too far and lead you to the place where you start to develop symptoms. In the case of psychosis, you might think of it, most people it proceeds in stages. So in the early teenage years often you might see people having a bit of a harder time concentrating. There’s a little bit of a harder time interacting socially.  As they get a little farther along, maybe they start withdrawing from things they’ve doing. More anxiety, feeling more depressed. Then, if things keep proceeding you might start seeing where their mind starts playing tricks on them a little bit. If somebody is starting to be troubled by this, it’s becoming a big part of their life. Then, the earlier that you get help the better. Because that’ll help you respond better.


And then these are your controls.



It’s really difficult to watch her go through her mental illness, it effects her every single day.  Effects every part of her life so it’s hard to watch but she’s really strong and she’s getting better.


People need to understand that not everything is a choice.  A lot of the time with mental illness, with eating disorders, with bipolar, with anything really, that the things you do aren’t your choice. You do it even when you don’t want to do things. It’s really hard.

Shawn Singh Sidhu, MD, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist:

Up to 20% of middle schoolers and high schoolers have seriously considered suicide. Out of a school of 2,000 kids, let’s say a big high school, 400 kids have seriously considered suicide.  Of those 400 kids, 170 or so have actually attempted suicide. So, so this is a lot of kids. The other statistic that’s unfortunate is about 37% of teenagers with depression actually have continuity of care, which means they’re able to get their treatment continuously for about three or four years, only 37%.   And yet 80% of children surveyed by the Youth Risk and Resiliency survey in New Mexico reported that treatment improved their functioning. 80% are saying that there’s some improvement in their functioning. Our task is number one, how do we get these kids into treatment?


One day we scheduled the time to meet and we had talked about ideas and she knew she wanted to work with water and so my grand parents had a pool so we went to the pool and one of her best friends came along so she decided that she wanted to take a picture of her underneath the water and it turned out amazing.


My biggest fear and struggle is feeling trapped or being trapped, whether that’s physically or mentally in your own mind. But water, I’ve always loved swimming, and water, just being in the water makes me feel so free.  It was really cool. My best friend, being in the water and showing my freedom while at the same time the shadow at the bottom of the pool was bigger, and it totally was my eating disorder … is my eating disorder.


Through this project through Photo Voice it allows, it allowed Allie, people struggling with mental illness to gain confidence when they see their work hanging up in a gallery in Santa Fe it’s a huge deal.


I’m doing great, I have so much love and support in my life and I’m happy, but I also am struggling with my eating disorder and depression and anxiety. But you can live with both was kind of the point of my picture, that they co-exist. Happiness, pain, struggle, fighting, winning, that’s all in one.   I’m very blessed with a family that’s so kind and supportive.

GRAPHIC:     Stats on screen:   No Adult Cares 30% attempt suicide

          One Adult Cares   4% to 5% attempt suicide


Of all New Mexico kids, if you said that no adult cares about you, you had about again, 30% chance of attempting suicide. But if you thought even one adult cared you even a little bit, your risk dropped from about 30% to 5%, 4%.  You could be a teacher, you could be a grandparent, you could be a godparent, you could be an uncle, you could be an older brother, sister, your impact is gigantic.


Accept people even when you don’t understand it. Just try to … I guess education and then accepting when you don’t understand is what I would say is huge. Accepting when you don’t understand.


There are neuroimaging studies that show that the shape of the brain literally changes when you’re around a loving environment, a therapeutic environment, have stable attachments, and this is without even medication that these things can change. Unfortunately, people receive this message that my brain is messed up, it must be forever, and that’s part of the stigma. Yet, if we change the dialogue to mental wellness, our brains can always be changing, and growing for the better.



I was first diagnosed with severe depression after my mom died. I went through a period, I was about 15, I went through a period of severe symptoms after that. I didn’t know about my PTSD until I was in my twenties, even though I’d had it since I was a teenager. It just was never diagnosed.



It was pretty chaotic trying to cope with peer situations, things at school. Part of my trauma and my depression came from severe bullying and antagonism and violence by my classmates.

We SEE the students sitting with the TEACHER in the SCHOOL looking over their ARTWORK




I’m kind of wondering if you guys wouldn’t mind talking a little bit about your piece.  So who wants to go first? Who wants to talk about that?

Louis Gonzalez, Teacher Health Leadership High School:

The driving question was basically how do we talk to teens in our community about mental health?  It was the kids who said, “Look, we need to develop art because it isn’t easy to talk about mental health illnesses. That’s very, very difficult, so words are not going to work. Pictures are going to work.” So this student proposed art. From there the students went ahead and decided we’re going to be creating art in order to break the silence with teens in the community.



Mitsy, tell me a little bit about yours.  I mean, every time I look at yours it’s really memorable because you ask a question, “How are you”?

Mitzy Duran, Student  Health Leadership High School:

Well when I made the drawing I was like focusing more on depression. And I was focusing on one of my family members, which I was like. You asked them like, “how are you, are you feeling ok, whatever”and every time you would ask them that, they would respond with the word “fine”.   They don’t want to express themselves, they don’t like expressing because they feel like they’re gonna get judged by if they say, “I have depression.” They feel like people are gonna be like, “Oh you’re just sad.” And so the main question was on top it says, “How are you?” And instead of a mouth I drew the word fine.  Which means, feelings inside not expressed.


I would ask the kids, “Why? Tell me a little bit about why you’re doing this?” They’re saying, “Well, you know, I had a friend that committed suicide and nobody knew to ask them what was going on inside. This is about him.” Or “This is about her.” I kept hearing that over and over.

WE SEE the group of students talking to the TEACHER again and HEAR:

Andres A. Delgado, Student   Health Leadership High School:

It would basically depict someone who feels like they’re trapped inside of a box, but it’s all mentally, it’s not actual physically.  Some of it does have to do with stress. A lot of the times it comes from stress. Basically, when you feel like an overwhelming of stress it can lead to depression, feel suicide, because you don’t know how to deal with these emotions. You feel trapped.


When a teenager experiences these stressors, let’s say a breakup, let’s say domestic violence in the home, let’s say you throw substance abuse on top of that, or cyber bullying. There’s the fact that they are a teenager, and their brain is less developed. And so that kind of stressor can have a pretty big impact on them, in terms of leading to something like depression or anxiety.


Really what this is trying to show is he’s not actually physically trapped, but it’s all mental. Mentally he feels this way, but he has a key and he’s always able to open it. All he has to do is get out of the box and find help.



There are certain populations that are particularly vulnerable. Suicide rates are higher in the LGBT population, there certainly has been an increase in the number of youth identifying as transgender, statistically as a population they’re at a much higher risk for things like suicide, depression and other sorts of issues.  Students who identified as having a disability, they were more likely to endorse suicidality on the Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey and this could also include kids with developmental disabilities like autism and things of that nature. We have a growing refugee population in New Mexico and there’s data to suggest that kids who are resettling from another country have great difficulties in social adjustment and higher rates, about two times the rate of depression, PTSD, psychosis.

In Native American adolescent suicide rate is about double the national average and in transitional age youth, which is sort of that young adult, it’s seven times the national average. Certainly poverty is a risk factor.


I knew it was an issue but I didn’t know how deep it could go or how it was going to affect students. I started to realize, wow, this is a tremendously huge issue in the community. The students enlightened me to it. Once I started to see their art, my jaw dropped.



You used a lot of colors. It’s very elaborate.  I remember when you were making this, you were having to do a lot of thinking.

Kelly E. Contreras, Student  Health Leadership High School:

Because for me I actually was depressed for a while, from my grandparents that died. So I thought about how I went through it.  The pieces are actually trying to hold him together. So that they don’t beak down and hurt themselves. The inside of the eyes are what their thoughts are, or what they want to do to themselves but they don’t want to.  When I put the stitching through the mouth, it’s mostly how they don’t want to tell their feelings to other people cause they might think “oh, you’re just doing it for attention”. So it’s like you’re putting a mask on for someone. Because you don’t want them to know that you’re depressed.  I said speak out because it’s better if they actually say how they feel so people understand and help them through it.


That’s why you look for the signs. Basically, you can take steps to how you can approach someone who suffers a certain mental illness and you have more awareness, and you’re more aware of what to do.


Alright. Good.  Mitsy?


Honestly, the way that I cope with all this is … Like when I see that one of my friends is feeling down, feeling depressed, I’ll stop doing what I’m doing, and then I’ll ask them.  I listen to them, and then I try to help them in any way that I possibly can.


So this movement started, and it was really neat. Actually at the end, they broke the silence.


I think one of things I wished that had happened for me at that age is that more people had talked about it, because I was just figuring it out on my own and in isolation. And it took me 15 years to get the right care and treatment for it that way. I wished somebody had said, “These signs are normal. This sounds like something other people have dealt with and this is how you can ask for help in an appropriate way.”

Desiree Woodland,  Mother:

He was depressed, but I just thought he would kind of grow out of it.   I didn’t know depression was a mental illness, and I thought people just would deal with it the best way they could. If he had heard one lesson about what mental illness was and if I had known about what mental illness was, we could have made a difference earlier.    The guilt after suicide is just abominable to try to live through, but I didn’t want his death to be in vain, so being a teacher, we were a pilot for a program at my school and then that kind of snowballed and turned into Breaking The Silence New Mexico.


Student Speaker:

We’re part of Breaking the Silence and our goal is to promote breaking the stigma, hence our name Breaking the Silence, of mental health and mental illness. So we like to reiterate that just like any other part of the body, the brains get sick too. They’re a three pound organ and they can get sick just like any other part of the body.

Breanna Frazier,  Breaking the Silence:

Teens a lot of times go to teens for help. They spend most of their time with their peers, and they may be the first ones to recognize that their friend or peer may have a mental disorder or have symptoms of mental health problems, so it’s really important to equip these teens so that they know what they can do and they can go to an adult and they know how to handle the situation properly.

GRAPHIC:  on screen BOLDED words

Student Speaker:

All right, our four main points, friends get sick too, mental illness is a physical illness that affects the most complex organ, which is the brain. It’s a stigma that keeps us from talking about it. Early treatment is important and support is critical.

Negative stereotypes do harm. They hurt peoples feelings, they attack confidence, all of which prevents people from seeking help.

The great majority of people with mental illness are violent, true or false?  False that’s correct.


What we push in our curriculum is that mental health and mental illnesses are a disorder of the brain. They affect you biologically, so just like heart disease affects the heart and diabetes affects the pancreas and things like that, it’s kind of the same situation.  There should be no stigma.


The suicide rate for people with a mental illness is 15%, which means the majority of people living with a mental illness will not die by suicide; however those who do die by suicide, over 90% of them had a diagnosable mental illness.


There’s absolutely signs that you should take as a red flag if you see your friend doing one of those things. If they tell you they’re gonna hurt themselves or if they’re gonna hurt someone else, or if they’ve expressed that they don’t want to be here anymore or they have suicidal ideations, then you should go right to a trusted adult.

Sophie LaBorwit,  Breaking the Silence:

If they say “Don’t tell anybody, I don’t want to have the world knowing”, the world doesn’t need to know but someone does to get them help and they may be mad at you and they may be “Hey I told you not to tell”.  It’s so important that someone know because it will help them in the long run and they will thank you. So if it’s impacting your life, if it’s making things worse, like if you can’t pay attention in school or to anything else, that’s a problem, or if you feel like so low, you can’t get out of bed. That’s a problem. So we try to say, ‘It’s alright, and here’s how to move forward.’

Joshua Padilla, Breaking the Silence:

Someone who watches the presentation that is afraid that a friend of theirs or a family member of theirs has a mental illness, they now have the ability to give them resources or to give them information.

Student Speaker:

So we actually have a suicide awareness activity, where we ask people what their stressors are and then at the end of the activity we ask, “How can you alleviate this stress?”.  It’s just important to realize a lot of times when people die by suicide people think that it was one event that caused them to do it, like their boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with them, or something tragic happened, so that’s why people think that they did it, but it’s a build-up of things. It’s just important to realize that. I’m going to have you guys call out stressors, and each time they call out a stressor you’re just going to pour a pretty good amount of water into his pitcher.

What are some things that stress you out?

Audience: Homework.

Speaker 1: Homework, yeah exactly. You’ll pour a good amount in there. Keep going. What is something else that stresses you guys out?

Audience: Relationships.

Speaker 1: Relationships, yeah. Relationship with anyone. So, how are you feeling now?

Student Speaker:

It’s really important for teens to know how to relieve their stress so they can be more successful, they can do better in school, they know how to help their friends and to help themselves.  People who die by suicide, they don’t want to die, they just want the pain to go away, and a lot of times just by loaning a listening ear or doing something kind for them can help with that.

What are some things that you can do for a stressed friend? It can be anything. Yeah, go ahead.

Audience: Talk to them.

Speaker 1: Talk to them, yeah. that’s really helpful.

Doreen: spending quality time with your friend?

Speaker 1: Yeah, spending quality time. Going for a movie or coffee, yeah.


I think a lot of times when we talk about mental health, we talk about mental illness. And mental illness is an important part of mental health. But, what we don’t talk enough about is when things are going well and what are the tools that people are using to be well and stay well when things are working correctly. So that is mental health and mental wellness. The tools we use to maintain our mental well being, the tools we use to cope with stress, how we form and manage healthy relationships, those are all parts of mental wellness that I think are important to young people.

GRAPHIC ON SCREEN   where words are BOLDED

Rhoshel Lenroot, M.D.  Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist:

How do you stay mentally healthy? There’s a few different things. One, the brain is an organ. It’s part of our body. some of the best research that we have shows that exercise, getting outside, doing things with your body, working up a sweat. These are good for your brain too.

Taking care of yourself. What do you eat? Are you sleeping? Not enough sleep is a huge stressor.  It’s been great to see all the interest in things like mindfulness coming up.  Mindfulness in some ways is learning how to just sit. It’s a great thing for teenagers, because if they can learn how to just say, “I’m feeling stressed out, I’m just gonna sit and breath for five minutes before I do anything else.” That’s a great skill.  And it’s important to feel connected to the people around you.  And real connections, connections where you feel like somebody understood you or you’re really listening to somebody else.  Then there’s something else called eudamonic happiness, which is the feeling that you get when you’ve done something meaningful.


If I stay silent, I stigmatize others.

If I speak up, I am wise, brave and strong.

I become the teacher, the educator, the leader.

BLACK Transition to:

OPEN on TS of movement over the MASK eyes slowly and fade out to black.

As this sequence continues with the MASK eyes, we HEAR:

Laura Carlisle, NAMI Albuquerque:

What you see on the outside with kids is not always the story that’s happening on the inside.  I think when you’re young, your inside life is almost more real than your outside life. I live with a mental illness. I also have a master’s degree and I work as a skilled rehab professional. Most of the people I meet in my personal and professional life also deal with aspects of mental health.  

Whether they call it mental illness or not, everybody deals with mental wellness. For some it’s different than others. For some it’s more challenging.

Fade up on MASK eye from a different angle and then FTB

We are FINISHED with the above bite and then WE HEAR AND SEE SYNC SOUND:


We all have an aspect of our health that it is our mental health and wellness. We have to take care of our mental well being, just like we take care of our physical well being or our spiritual well being. It’s just another aspect of human wellness.

TITLE CARD    mental HEALTH  Families

NAMI  Family to Family participants coming into the room as we HEAR:


I think the most important thing I would say to parents is to talk to their children openly about mental health and mental health conditions. Talk about things like depression. Lots of people deal with depression. It’s really normal. It’s not an extreme thing. This is what depression is like.  “Hey I noticed you’ve been very sad lately. Have you heard about depression? You seem to be having a difficult time regulating your mood. Do you feel excited often? Do you feel tired often? What’s going on?” Ask those questions.

CYRIL STANTON, facilitator NAMI Albuquerque

Well, so I wanna thank you all for coming to this wonderful endeavor and everybody in this room, including the teachers, we’re all individuals who have loved ones living with a mental illness.

Kathy Finch, President   NAMI Albuquerque:

NAMI is a grassroots organization. Our chapter here was started in 1985 where people experiencing mental illness and families experiencing mental illness in a member were not getting sufficient help from the medical profession and decided to see what they could do for self help.  The family to family class really opens people up to the concept that they aren’t alone.


This is class number seven. It’s called the Empathy Workshop.


Empathy: The intimate comprehension of another person’s thoughts and feelings without imposing our own judgment or expectations.


My son was, what you would consider a normal child. He was actually a dream child. He got straight A’s, he was athletic, he was smart, he was social, he was respectful.


She was seventh grade.


When he got into the beginning of high school, he started complaining about, he thought he was going deaf.


My son was probably in Junior High when it started.


I really started noticing it in seventh grade, eighth grade.


Desiree Woodland, Mother

Kids, if they don’t understand it themselves, they might hide those symptoms, but the first would be a personality change, and I could totally understand that with my son. It did change, although I thought he was just becoming someone different. Withdrawing is another one. Agitation, where what they were able to handle in stress, they’re all of a sudden not able to. It’s just more than that they can do. Lack of self care, and then the last one is hopelessness.  With all the suicide research, hopelessness is the factor that most researchers say that’s what the final cause is.


My husband and I both thought it was normal teenage behavior.  He was still on the football team. He was doing things that was trying to be a normal kid.  But there was something that was just off, that wasn’t quite right.


I was called to the councilor’s office about three times a week because she was writing something sad, her drawings looked disturbing, she was being bullied and she was cutting.  They noticed the scars on her arms.



Now if I could have you all take a look at handout number two, and it’s titled “Defensive Coping Strategies Used to Preserve Self Esteem in Mental Illness”.  The important thing to realize here is that all of these are very human responses to feeling temporarily defeated.


Not just some of these, but every single one of these, my son uses to cope. And the heartbreaking thing is, it’s the exact opposite of who he used to be before he developed schizophrenia


We expect at a certain age that they’re going to be thus and such, because we’ve instilled good behaviors in them. And it is very difficult to see these, because it happens.


I can’t let other people’s judgment of how I’m responding to the situations affect, or how my loved one is reacting, affect what I know is going on with him. I just have to be there.


For me, it happened in the Christian community. So what you think you should find the biggest refuge in, sometimes you’re rejected, and it can be the most painful thing


A lot of the time, she’s a normal person, but you can trigger her and I think I was doing by expecting her to perform and function normally, go to school, get a job, that I was actually exacerbating her humiliation with her circumstance.


He was 17, 18 so I thought he was just going through what young men go through.


We thought this was just…she’s just going through really bad puberty. She was always a child of extremes, she was always very dramatic. I think she was about 15 or 16 when we finally took her to a therapist and got a bipolar diagnosis.


The hardest part, I think, for families, is that the rest of your family members can do the same as a Christian group may. Like, oh, you know, they’re different, they stay away, they don’t want to know.  I’m sorry about this. I’m usually very cheerful! So I think for us, as we’re all doing with the different illnesses, and recognizing that there is programs like this one that will make you better understand that you’re not alone.


In our circumstance, I felt like we were blamed by both family members and friends as if we were doing something wrong in how we were raising our daughter, or that we were enabling behavior. That was terribly frustrating. I felt so alone and misunderstood///

Kathy Finch:

When you’re trying to work with and deal with something like a family member. It’s the kind of thing that you feel isolated. But NAMI is excellent that way because you get in a room with twelve different people and everybody says, “well my loved one … ” and you realized that this is not unique that there are explored ways to deal with it.


Because mental illnesses are a little bit different than a lot of other illnesses. If somebody has cancer or somebody has heart disease next door, all of the neighbors run across, and they bring the casserole, right.  They bring the casserole because they want to help, right? Well, mental illness we say it’s not a casserole disease, because when a family has mental illness, rather than having friends and our coworkers and our loved one’s friends kind of gather around us and give us support, people tend to start pulling away instead of coming in to help you.


With my family, all the males in the family said, “You need to send him to military school. You need to give him tough love,” because we didn’t understand what was going on. He didn’t have a diagnosis. We didn’t know he had schizophrenia.


I wished I had this information when our daughter was in middle school and we first noticed the problems with the cutting, which we had no knowledge of.


So I’ll just put it out to the class, when in this case, Susan had that first initial break with reality, what you think she was feeling.

Speaker 4: Panic.

Speaker 5: Hopeless.

Speaker 6: Confusion.

Speaker 7: Scared.

Speaker 4: Constant crisis.

Speaker 8: Denial.

Speaker 9: Insecure.


We eventually hospitalized him, twice.  He’s still mad at us about it. He does not admit that he’s ill.  I wish he did. We were looking for help that he didn’t seem to understand that he needed.  He still doesn’t.


He was 19 when he was diagnosed, almost 20. Now he’s 23 and he goes to the doctor, he takes his medication, he goes to counseling, but he doesn’t have what we would consider a life. He still won’t talk to his friends, he’s not social. But there’s definitely some healing there, but there’s still a long way to go.


Our daughter is 36 now.  She’s doing quite well, She’s got a good job, she’s working with the city and she’s gotten high marks.  She’s been promoted, she’s been asked to be a trainer for new employees and she’s doing a great job.


She’s on medication too, she sticks with her medication, she sees her doctor, she goes to a group therapy.  She’s getting the help and the support she needs.


My father in law thinks that we’re enabling her, and thinks that we’re coddling her, and we’re being just ridiculous in letting her get away with this behavior, like  she can control it, yeah. She’s on medications now. She’s working really hard on at least functioning in society.


Don’t chalk it up to just teenage behavior.  Ask. Go to the counselors. Take him to your doctor.  Ask “is this normal” Because it wasn’t. Because there’s mental illness on my husband’s side and my side of the family but it wasn’t talked about.  I wish it had been. We talk about it now.

BLACK transition to:

OPEN on TS of movement over the MASK eyes slowly and fade out to black.

As this sequence continues with the MASK eyes, we HEAR:

Sharon Orchard:

I was raised in a very small town where little was known about mental illness, and even less was talked about. Even to this day they struggle with people living with bipolar disorder, and they don’t have resources for them. So, those people are struggling, so it’s perpetuated, by there’s no resources. There’s no help, there’s no education.

Fade up on MASK eyes as before


We are FINISHED with the above bite and then HEAR AND SEE SYNC SOUND:


So we’re just not going to talk about it. We’re going to sweep it under the rug, so we either we can deal with it later or wait till something really bad happens and then we’ll fix it.      It’s a mental disorder … just like diabetes. My mom didn’t wish it on me. It’s not because of lack of character or a poor upbringing. It just happened.

Dr. Paul E. Hopkins, D. Min., LPCC:

It’s not a character fault. It’s not true that if people just had a stiffer upper lip, or if they prayed more, that this difficulty would go away. It’s simply not that simple. Behavioral health issues, mental illness, addictions, those are health problems. Those are illnesses and we need to treat them accordingly and we need to recognize ourselves if we face those problems in ourselves or our families, that there’s no shame in seeking treatment.

RURAL ROAD shots as we HEAR

Ralph L. Moya, ACSW  Professional Counseling Associates:

We have clinics in Vaughn, we have clinic in Santa Rosa, we have clinics in Tucumcari and we have clinic in Clayton. And so I visit all the clinics during the week.

Dr. Hopkins:

We rank number one in terms of the percentage of population who have behavioral health issues of one kind or another.  Well, in fact, it’s about 28% of the population of New Mexico suffers from some sort of behavioral health disorder. We’re facing a large population of need with very few resources.


I left Clayton last night at nine and, I drove straight to Vaughn because on Thursdays is a Vaughn clinic. I set the odometer on here and it came out to 310. Then you turn around go back, it’d be about 650. You know what I’m saying?

A CAR is in the distance coming along into VAUGHN.

Shawn Singh Sidhu, M.D.:

27 out of 33 of our counties in New Mexico have zero child psychiatrists, only six of our counties have a child psychiatrist. We’re missing most of the kids.   So our task is how do we get these kids into treatment?

We SEE more of the car inside and out As we HEAR:


Rural New Mexico has worse problems, cause we can not go into anywhere and get services. You know what I’m saying, like here in Vaughn, look at me, if I didn’t come to Vaughn there would be nobody here. And how many people have the income to go all the way to Albuquerque.  Seven years ago I retired, I was going to just do one day a week, and now I’m doing six days a week straight. And then Sundays catch up on the paperwork. I also manage what is called the crisis line. If you’re a client of ours, you are entitled to call my cell number, if you’re having a crisis or the family’s having a crisis. Actually not getting paid, it doesn’t bother me one bit because I have my retirement, I don’t need the extra money. They need the services.



A month ago I had a client that came to see me, for the first time, and he just walked through the office, and so I was like really swamped under, I had like four other clients ahead of him. And I said, “Do not leave.” I said, “I’ll see you in a little while.” And he said, “Well I’ll be back.” So I said, “Okay.” And I said, “I’m here until ten.” I said, “So if you want to come in late tonight it’d be alright.” Well I guess things got okay, I didn’t get to talk to him very much, he introduced himself and I just said, “I’ll see you.”  So then I noticed that he didn’t come in, it was 10 o’clock. Next morning at seven o’clock in the morning he took his life. It was real hard for me because that’s one of the things I do is try to provide … I try to provide that service and you know, it’s hard on a person, when you lose a client. And I consider myself to be very strong, but when that happens, because you’re so helpless …

We SEE Ralph get in his car and drive off. Then SEE the open road. And HEAR


If I were to leave today the Clayton clinic will close, the Vaughn clinic will close. The Santa Rosa clinic will close, and the Tucumcari clinic will close. It’s the end of the episode.


The number of agencies and programs that are closing in the state has been staggering. More than two dozen agencies in the last 12 years have closed their doors because of funding difficulties, or in a few cases, because of rulings that the state of New Mexico made in error, accusing agencies of fraud and later it was discovered there was no fraud. That’s been a big blow to access to services for people.

TRANSITION TO  DONNA going into her office at

GRAPHIC:  All Faiths Children’s Advocacy Center

Donna Lucero, Clinical Director   All Faiths:

there’s been lots of really solid research done over the last few years about the ACE Study or Adverse Childhood Experiences. That really is telling us that the more adversity our children experience when they’re very young, the higher likelihood that they will experience not only mental health issues, but physical health issues into adulthood.

Robert Salazar, Vice-President  NAMI Albuquerque:

When I was seven years old, I was molested repeatedly throughout my life until my early teens.  And that’s what caused the PTSD. My late teens, early 20’s I started dealing with severe mood swings that I didn’t understand and as I’ve now become aware of, bi-polar runs in my family.


In Bernalillo County, we have the largest inpatient treatment facility in the state of New Mexico. It’s called the Bernalillo County Jail. That’s true in many places across the country. As hospitals and other inpatient facilities have closed, jails have taken up the slack. The Bernalillo County Detention Center contains people, most of whom, have a one or two diagnoses of either mental illness or addiction or both.


Anytime I got in trouble I was immediately criminalized, put in jail or put in some kind of institution to, you know, “the kids’s bad”.   I got into a lot of self-medicating. That’s how I dealt with it.


Some of the bright spots have included the fact that the Governor adopted Medicaid, and the legislature has allowed people in New Mexico to be able to expand their access to Medicaid services. That made a big difference. It moved us from being one of the last in the nation to about the middle in terms of access to services, people who had health care insurance.

We SEE Susan Page come out of the library and get into her car as we HEAR:

Susan E. Page,  Lawyer:

After many years of being treated for depression, I was re diagnosed with having Bipolar Disorder.  So, I’ve gotten much better treatment, since then. Both, the right kind of medication and the right kind of therapy.  I feel better. I’m a lawyer. I’ve managed to have a career. I worked for the state, and retired from the state, 11 years ago, and raised a family, three kids, and been married for 35 years.



You manage it, like you manage anything else. I mean, there’s other things I wish I was doing a better job of managing. I would like to lose weight. I’m working on it, but I like to eat. And, I’d like to be tall and skinny, but I can’t seem to manage the tall part. So, you do what you can. But, I think, you manage it by taking care of yourself, by doing the right things for you, trying to put yourself in situations that work for you, and try to avoid being in situations that don’t.


The other big bright spot has been here in central New Mexico, where the voters in Bernalillo County passed a gross receipts tax extension or increase devoted to behavioral health services.

Katrina Hotrum,  Director Bernalillo County Behavioral Health Services:

The Behavioral Health Initiative is so much more than 17 million dollars that was imposed on a tax. It’s really charged with identifying critical populations that are going in and out of the jail, that are frequently utilizing that, and frequently utilizing emergency room services.

It’s really going far enough upstream and running prevention programs that won’t stop mental health issues, but maybe identify them. So that we’re building capacity within our community, and awareness, and understanding, as well as a crisis treatment system.

We SEE Donna come into her office.


What the county funds are helping us do is really broaden what we can do outside of Medicaid. We can get in there and work with youth and families on things that not necessarily would qualify for Medicaid, but really hard needs like housing, helping our youth find jobs, helping families find resources for food, restraining orders to help them maintain the safety of them and their family.

If we wanna lessen the stress, think about a youth who has experienced trauma and they’re tuned up. It’s not usually that kids are traumatized in isolation. There’s other stuff going on and now they’re gonna be evicted.   If we can help that caregiver identify safe and stable housing, hopefully, it’s gonna lessen that level of stress. The trauma’s still there. We still got stuff to work on, but at least it’s lessened it. Kids are more apt to be able to work on some of that other stuff when they feel safe wherever they are.


So, if we teach the families, and we surround that child who has had that adverse childhood experience, maybe parents that are going in and out of jail, maybe there’s divorce, there’s addiction in the family. If we’re not only able to focus on the children in the home, but we’re able to provide wraparound services for the family, we’re able to have better outcomes. Keep those families together. Have better unity. And really change the outcome, hopefully overall for our community in the future.

We SEE Susan get out of her car and walk into the meeting as we HEAR:


I’m on the subcommittee called, Prevention Harm Reduction and Intervention.  So, we concentrate more on harm reduction and on intervention, and we have supervised, for one thing, contracts being put out to families who have had, children who have had, adverse childhood experiences. All Faiths,  we’re able to hire enough people to completely clear their waiting list. So, if somebody is referred to All Faiths, they can see somebody right now, which is what people need.


I think for us really it’s just the getting in as early as possible and really trying. The sooner we can intervene, the better and even backing it up even more so we’re working with caregivers to hopefully prevent that ongoing cycle that continues forward.

We SEE and HEAR the NMCAL call center and workers.  THEN we HEAR:


We need a crisis line, we need to have easier access into physical care, and to psychiatric care, quick and immediate access. We need to have more stability.

We started looking at how we put some of those pieces together, we found out that there was the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line that was already in existence.


Are you having any anxiety…

Wendy Linebrink-Allison, Program Manager  New Mexico Crisis and Access Line:

We recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with Bernalillo County 9-1-1 communications center that says that, when a mental health call comes into their line, they have policies and procedures set up so that they can transfer those calls over to us, that they can get a more appropriate level of care, and talk to one of our master level clinicians on our crisis line.  Where else can you go and talk to a licensed professional at no cost, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One of the benefits of having professionals answer the line is that sometimes, people don’t always have a support system, or don’t feel comfortable with their support system, and they want to access help but they’re not sure how to access help. So in those moments, we are taking the time to work with them to see who else can help them, and if there’s nobody else that’s available to help them, then we’re engaging public safety in order to do well checks and see how they’re doing beyond this phone call, maybe help get them to a safer place, and help them to feel as if they can go on another day.


People can call that line if they’re having any sort of mental health distress. It’s not just the individual themselves, it could be a family member.


You don’t have to be the one in crisis to contact us. You might be calling because you’re worried about somebody else and you want to know how to help them out.


Thank you for calling the New Mexico Peer to Peer Warm Line



On our warm line, we were able to launch a texting program so that people can text us, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. The number is the same whether you call or text 855-466-7100,


‘Similar situation…yes, you’re not alone


and when you call or text the warm line, you’ll be talking to a certified peer support specialist that’s in recovery from their own mental health diagnosis and has walked in similar shoes that you may have been walking in.  The number is 855-NM-CRISIS or 855-662-7474 for our New Mexico Crisis and Access line, and the number for our Peer to Peer warm line is 855-466-7100.

GRAPHIC on the BOLDED words below. ALSO cover with students beginning of show. Eventually going to the swimming picture from the top of the show.


One of the hardest things about dealing with mental illness is, that we don’t acknowledge it. So, we make people hide from what is a big part of their lives. We don’t acknowledge what a challenge it is to have those issues. Then, we need to accept those. That, these are part of life. They’re no different from other illnesses. They’re just things that happen to you. They are not things that happen to you because you’re a bad person, and you’re not taking care of yourself.

And then, finally, we need to appreciate people who are living with mental illness, who are living with substance abuse disorders, and who are managing to accomplish things. And we need to appreciate that they’re able to do that with these kind of problems.

I really think, I’m no more different because of having a mental illness, than I am for having diabetes, or high blood pressure or whatever.    I have high intelligence. I went to law school, I graduated high in my class, I’m a smart person, but I also have a mental illness.