Grieving a loved one, teenage suicide and the effects on schools and healthcare workers were highlighted at a COVID-19 roundtable on September 25 in Carlsbad.
Deacon Tony Dominguez of the Catholic Church of San Jose, Area Director of Permian Basin Counseling D’Nae Johnson, Associate Director of AARP New Mexico Gary Williams, Superintendent of Carlsbad Municipal Schools (CMS) on Dr Gerry Washburn and Carlsbad Medical Center General Manager Nick Arledge spent nearly two hours talking about the effects of COVID-19 and possible solutions at the Leo Sweet Community Center.
“I thought it was good. I thought a lot of good information had been released,” Washburn said.
“I think it’s good to hear the different perspectives. We are all trying to navigate something that seems to continue to go on. “
Washburn said CMS had addressed a number of issues since March 2020, when the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Eddy County and New Mexico.
“When the kids were all away (learning), we had a huge spike in kids threatening self-harm and depression. Fortunately, we have seen that go down a bit, ”he said.
During the 2021/2022 academic year, Washburn said CMS officials noticed students struggling with classroom situations.
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“Just getting to know each other and understanding how to navigate relationships with peers. I think these are our big things, ”he said.
The struggles against COVID-19 were not limited to young people, Williams said, he said social isolation is a problem for the elderly.
“Social isolation is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Individuals are cut off from services, ”he said.
He said social engagement of older people in a safe and social environment was a key element during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What are we doing as a society to enable individuals to re-enter the labor market? These environments where social engagement occurs and how much attention do you pay to individuals expressing concerns such as going out today to actively participate in this roundtable? Williams asked.
Johnson urged people to reach out if they are depressed or have thoughts of suicide.
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Permian Basin Counseling opened almost four months ago in Carlsbad and Mayor Dale Janway said the services were put in place by the Permian Strategic Partnership (PSP) as an opportunity for more counseling services for the community.
“PSP is a coalition of 17 leading Permian Basin energy companies who have come together to work in partnership with community leaders in the region to address the current and future challenges of responsible development of the Permian Basin’s vast oil and gas resources in the region. the states. from New Mexico and Texas, ”the PSP website said.
Dominguez said individual faith-based counseling is available to those who request it.
He said if the Catholic Church in San José or any other place of worship doesn’t have the answers people are looking for, they will be referred to an agency that does.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by emailing [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.