Opinion: $1 Million in Mental Healthcare Funding Is an Excellent Investment, but New Mexico Colleges Need Even More

Daniella Cressman

New Mexico is home to a lot of hardship: many Native Americans struggle with poverty, not to mention a history of unthinkable suffering, the LGBTQ+ community is often discriminated against, particularly in rural areas, and there is sometimes some understandable anger and friction between the white population and the Hispanic population—the history between the two cultures is horrible, after all.

On top of this, a lot of communities are extremely poor, to the point where it is quite difficult for families to put food on the table and keep the lights on.

Recently, the New Mexico Higher Education Department has invested $1 million in mental healthcare funding for schools, and Luna Community College has received a $50,000 grant.

"The new investment is the result of $1 million in funding the New Mexico Higher Education Department recently distributed to 20 different mental health programs, new and existing, at New Mexico colleges and universities." —Jessica Pollard

The $50,000 grant is a much-needed one.

"Carol Linder, Luna’s director of Allied Health Sciences and Public Services, is hoping a $50,000 grant from the New Mexico Higher Education Department will help students access services while on campus and elsewhere." —Jessica Pollard

Currently, Luna Community College does not have a formal mental health program and, as Carol Linder puts it, mental healthcare is crucial for many as a preventative measure—not solely during times of crisis.

“Luna does not have any formal program at all to deal with mental and behavioral health...So much of wellness is not about getting counseling in a crisis, it’s really [about] dealing with your whole wellness being.” —Carol Linder

With a lot of students suffering from emotional scars following the fire, as well as the losses many have endured due to the blaze, New Mexico colleges seem to be in agreement that even more funds would be appreciated in order to sufficiently serve the healthcare needs of their students.

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM
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