Healthy and Safe Communities2022-07-27T15:58:18-06:00

Healthy and Safe Communities

Safe and supportive communities build resilient families and a strong state. But our communities, workforce, and economy cannot be healthy when so many New Mexico children and families lack access to a comprehensive and high-quality system of physical and behavioral health, prevention, and wellness resources. And none of us can be healthy and safe until we do a better job of taking care of our natural environment, which includes lessening our collective carbon footprint and protecting our air, land, and water.

Featured Content

Art as an Alternative

Given that so many youth within the state’s juvenile system have faced multiple adverse childhood experiences, any effective rehabilitation efforts must address their long-term impacts. This report looks at how informal diversion programs based on the arts can help youth who are dealing with ACEs heal and reintegrate into their communities while saving the state money.

Health-in-All-Policies for New Mexico

Your state of health is dependent on many variables – including where you live, how much you earn, and even how far you went in school. These are called “social determinants of health” and they not only impact your health but they also impact your ability to choose a healthy lifestyle. Everyone’s health could be improved if lawmakers took these determinants of health into account when creating public policies. This report offers an overview of the determinants of health as well as the policies that can improve health for all.

Ending Childhood Food Insecurity in New Mexico

New Mexico’s childhood food insecurity rate has long been at or near the highest in the nation. The pandemic and resulting recession only made it worse. This report looks at why food insecurity is such a problem in New Mexico, how it impacts children and families, and what the state can do about it. (State- and county-level data on food and economic insecurity)

Recent Publications

New Mexico 2022 KIDS COUNT profile

August 8th, 2022|

State Data Sheet The national 2022 KIDS COUNT Data Book, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, assesses and ranks the 50 states on 16 indicators of child well-being, which are categorized into four domains - economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. New Mexico placed 50th in 2022. (State-level data on indicators of child well-being)

Art as an Alternative

July 27th, 2022|

Report Given that so many youth within the state’s juvenile system have faced multiple adverse childhood experiences, any effective rehabilitation efforts must address their long-term impacts. This report looks at how informal diversion programs based on the arts can help youth dealing with ACEs and save the state money. (State-level data on the juvenile system.)

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Recent Blog Posts

Federal leasing program isn’t working for New Mexico

June 4th, 2022|

When the government leases lands at far below market rates and forces taxpayers to cover the cost of cleanup, we’re all missing out on money that is rightfully ours. This is revenue that should be used to pay for books for our schools and teacher salaries, not padding industry profits.

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Recent News Coverage

New Mexico slips to 50th in child well-being

August 8th, 2022|

What’s not reflected in the data book is “great policy progress in the past few years that put kids first,” she said, noting a number of legislative changes made from 2019 forward. “Among them are the new child tax credit, the doubling of the tax credit for working families with kids and the expansion of child care systems to most every kid in New Mexico,” she said.

A Missing Ingredient

July 24th, 2022|

Advocates note that many people exposed to trauma recover, particularly if they have attentive families and strong support systems. “Children are really resilient,” said Amber Wallin, executive director of the advocacy organization New Mexico Voices for Children, particularly if they are only exposed to one or two ACEs. But if trauma accumulates beyond that, she said, the challenges become more difficult to overcome — “and that’s where New Mexico fares really poorly.”

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Current Initiatives

The New Mexico Environmental Public Health Network became a program of NM Voices at the start of 2021. As our work both on public health and environmental health and justice had been ramping up over several years, it made sense to bring this project into the NM Voices family. As our previous environmental health focused on protecting federal lands and mitigating the harm done by oil and gas exploration and extraction, the NMEPHN work is more broadly based on protecting the state’s natural resources of air, water, and land.

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