SANTA FE—On Friday, DOH Acting Cabinet Secretary and HSD Cabinet Secretary Dr. David Scrase addressed employees from the New Mexico Department of Health during a virtual all-hands meeting. After a speech that highlighted the need for a redoubled focus on employee wellness, especially for front-line workers, he took questions from staff.
Dr. Scrase thanked every DOH employee for their tireless service and dedication to New Mexico throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, while also encouraging employees to focus on their physical and mental health.
“I’m encouraging people to really take care of themselves,” Scrase said. “Talk to someone… Sometimes just having someone to talk to can make a really big difference in working your way through the trauma of what we’ve been through in the pandemic.”
Scrase referenced a recent CDC study that found 53% of public health workers were experiencing symptoms of at least one mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. These were particularly strong for workers whose jobs specifically dealt with COVID and who worked greater than 41 hours a week.
Scrase emphasized the importance of health checkups, practicing stress-reduction techniques, and seeking professional help if needed.
The New Mexico Crisis and Access line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year. Please call 1-855-662-7474 or visit NMCrisisline.com
Hannah Long, Communications Specialist | Hannah.Long@state.nm.us
The Department of Health works to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and deliver services to all New Mexicans. As New Mexico’s largest state agency, DOH offers public health services in all 33 counties and collaborates with 23 Native American tribes, Pueblos and nations.