Mental health education to be offered at 9Health Fair


By Constance d’Angelis

Special to The PREVIEW

In addition to the substantial battery of blood tests for only $35, a multitude of free screenings and an opportunity to speak one-on-one with health care professionals, there will be numerous educational forums. An important and very timely educational presentation is regarding what is being termed the current “mental health crisis.”

Americans, including children, young adults, adults and elders who are experiencing anxiety, depression, anguish, overwhelm, alcoholism, drug abuse, distress and suicide is startling.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), depression, distress and suicidal thoughts are significantly higher among teens and young adults.

Awareness of this fact was noted last week in Pagosa Springs through the Mental Health Awareness Walk organized by Pagosa Springs High School students.

Did you know that a recent study found the demand for mental health services is stronger than ever before? Fifty-six percent of Americans are seeking or wanting to obtain mental health services either for themselves or a loved one.

Barriers to getting mental health help were identified as:

• High cost and insufficient insurance coverage;

• Limited options and long waits;

• Lack of awareness of how to locate a provider; and

• Social stigma.

For more information on the comprehensive study, go to National Council for Behavioral Health at or

Come to Pagosa Springs High School on April 27 from 7 to 11 a.m. There will be a blood test panel for $35, free screenings, educational programs and the opportunity meet health professionals.

Have special health and wellness skills? Could you offer education and information? Want to volunteer? Have questions? Contact Sharee Grazda at 731-0317 or Visit 9Health