'Path to Wellness' event at Brookside Park offers mental health, substance abuse resources

The event is being held in conjunction with National Recovery Month

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • The San Juan Safe Communities Initiative is hosting a Path to Wellness event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Brookside Park at 1801 Brookside Dr. in Farmington.
  • The event is being held in September as it’s National Recovery Month, which seeks to support and promote new recovery practices and evidence-based treatment.
  • Food vendors have been invited to the event, which will also feature a teen suicide awareness forum and members of the public sharing their recFood vendors have been invited to the event, which will also feature a teen suicide awareness forum and members of the public sharing their recovery stories.overy stories.

FARMINGTON — Members of the community looking to find mental health and substance abuse resources can attend a Path to Wellness event Saturday at a Farmington park.

The San Juan Safe Communities Initiative is hosting a Path to Wellness event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 18 at Brookside Park at 1801 Brookside Dr. in Farmington.

The event is being held in September for National Recovery Month, which seeks to support and promote new recovery practices and evidence-based treatment.

Greg Allen, San Juan Safe Communities Initiative Executive Director, told The Daily Times the Recovery Communities of New Mexico is sponsoring the event in its third year.

Brookside Park, seen in this undated file photo, will be the site of this year's Path to wellness event featuring booths from mental health and substance abuse service providers.

It was last held in 2019 at Kiwanis Park with no 2020 event held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Mexico is a state that struggles with high DWI, and high death rates tied to alcohol.

New Mexico has the highest alcohol related death rate in the United States along with the 12 highest drug overdose death rates in the country in 2019, according to data shared with The Daily Times.

For San Juan County, it’s the third in the state for alcohol-related deaths, with a rate of 119.7 deaths per 100,000 people in 2019. That is higher than the New Mexico rate of 75.2 deaths per 100,000 people.

Law enforcement made 1,289 DWI arrests in 2019 and more than half of the traffic-related deaths in the county in 2018 were alcohol-related.

Allen described the event as a health fair, with multiple agencies offering information on its resources along with providing some entertainment including a DJ and an inflatable bounce house.

Food vendors have been invited to the event, which will also feature a teen suicide awareness forum and members of the public sharing their recovery stories.

The first 100 people to visit 10 vendor booths will receive a free hot dog, chips and drink.

San Juan County Behavioral Health Services Director Su Hodgman told The Daily Times one of the issues the county faces is connecting people to mental health and substance resources in the community.

Hodgman oversees the San Juan County Mental Wellness Resource Center.

Hodgman said she has noticed people seeking such resources need a little extra help as they can find the process intimidating and sometimes scary.

“We’re going to have all these great providers out there with tables and information,” Hodgman said. “People can just walk around and talk to them and ask questions and get information and understand that recovery is possible.”

Hodgman believes more discussion in the community had led to talk about mental health and substance abuse being destigmatized, adding it's a public health issue and not a criminal issue. 

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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