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Behavioral Health

Behavioral Health 2020-03-04T14:28:26-07:00

Behavioral Health in Schools

According to the 2017 New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS), NM high school students engaged in risky behaviors at higher rates when compared to the national average in 10 of 14 indicators. Risky behaviors are linked to poorer physical and mental health, wellness, and academic outcomes that have lifelong consequences.   New Mexico is first in the nation for suicide in youth 10-17years old, and suicide is the second leading cause of death in New Mexico for youth 10—17 years old.  Behavioral Health in schools supports and strengthens the social, emotional, behavioral and academic wellbeing of all students leading to improved physical, mental and academic outcomes.

According to New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) 6.12.6, each district and charter school is required, through Wellness Policy, to have “a plan addressing the behavioral health needs of all students in the educational process by focusing on students’ social and emotional wellbeing”.

Youth Risk and Resiliency Behavior Indicators

The New Mexico Public Education Department supports behavioral health in schools through various initiatives:

  • Support of and technical assistance to School based health centers (SBHC’s) on school campuses. SBHC’s offer comprehensive health services, meaning both physical and mental health. Mental health is just health.
  • District wide Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) for all schools to support staff, students and families in better academic and social/emotional outcomes. Systematically implementing SEL in districts and schools promotes self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision making and relationship skills for all students, staff, family and community. Research has shown a decrease in conduct issues, improved attitudes toward school, better attendance and graduation rates and well and improved staff retention in districts where comprehensive SEL is implemented.

An Invitation to Superintendents

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Workshop
Tuesday, April 14, 2020 9:00am-4:00pm
Albuquerque Convention Center

District-wide implementation of SEL has been linked to better attendance, better graduation rates, decreased behavior problems, an increased positive attitude toward school and teachers staying in the classroom longer.

Come join in this workshop for superintendents and district leaders to discuss the importance of SEL, how to implement SEL district wide, and to hear from New Mexico schools who are implementing SEL.

Please take advantage of this no cost opportunity. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited to 70 leaders.

The registration link

This workshop is being held the day before the Head 2 Toe conference begins in the same venue. The Head 2 Toe Conference provides another great opportunity for district leaders to learn strategies to improve student health and wellness. Register for H2T here:


Social and Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning Competencies Wheel CASEL Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning Through research, practice, and policy, we collaborate with thought leaders to equip educators and policymakers with the knowledge and resources to advance social and emotional learning in equitable learning environments so all students can thrive.

Wallace Foundation Find Out How to Build Social and Emotional Learning Skills; Compare Leading SEL Programs

Second Step Second Step is a program rooted in social-emotional learning (SEL) that helps transform schools into supportive, successful learning environments uniquely equipped to help children thrive.

Why Try Imagine if resilience was a learned trait – one that could be developed and increased by both teachers and students alike, allowing everyone in a school environment to access inner motivation in and beyond the classroom. Research has shown that resilience can be fostered and increased in adolescents – that they can learn skills to help them adapt and even thrive amidst tremendous challenges. WhyTry programs help you deliver these skills using an engaging, multisensory approach, which will transform your classroom or school climate and completely change the way your students view adversity. Multiple third-party studies have proven that our approach to resilience education works.

The Choose Love Enrichment ProgramTM is a no cost Pre-K through 12th grade social and emotional learning program that teaches educators and their students how to choose love in any circumstance and helps them become connected, resilient and empowered individuals.

Leslie G. Kelly, MA
Behavioral Health Coordinator



Page last updated March 4, 2020