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Child and Adolescent Health

In 2019, the New Mexico Legislature created the Early Childhood Education and Care Department. The ECECD coordinates a continuum of programs from prenatal to five—and ensuring that families in every corner of the state can access the services they need.

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NM Youth Peer-to-Peer Helper Program

The NM Youth Peer to Peer Helper (P2PH) Program Guide is adapted from the Natural Helpers which is a promising practice program. It is based on the premise that when young people have problems, they most often turn to friends whom they trust for help, and within every school or youth organization an informal “helping network” exists. The program seeks to identify this informal network of youth who represent all the different subgroups, provides training and support for those who are already serving as helpers. 


This program provides youth the tools and confidence to confront these issues with skills such as listening, problem-solving, and referring their peers to appropriate adult resources. Ultimately their training serves to enhance the helping skills they are already using with their friends. The youth in the program also recognize their own limits as helpers and thus can be the link that is needed between young people and professional help.

Topics include: stress, grief, family problems, sexuality, money concerns, violence, relationship difficulties, substance abuse, thoughts of suicide

  • Positive ways to take care of themselves and be cognizant of their own health.

  • Build healthy relationships (peer to peer & youth-adult)

  • Effective ways to help and support their friends and peers.

  • Ways to contribute to creating safe and supportive school and community environments.


Increase Protective
& Resiliency Factors
decrease risk factors

1 of 6 U.S. Youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. 

32,000 New Mexicans age 12-17 have depression

Adolescent Mental Health in New Mexico

New Mexico ranks FIRST in the nation for youth suicide ages 15-19.

Among children aged 10 to 14, death by suicide is now more common than death from traffic accidents

59.2% of New Mexicans aged 12–17 who have depression did not receive any care in the last year.

1,366,095 people in New Mexico live in a community that does not have enough mental health professionals.

In New Mexico, 536 lives were lost to suicide and 67,000 adults had thoughts of suicide in the last year


Image by Anthony Fomin

Reach NM

a dedicated text help line for every child and teen in New Mexico — no matter what you’re going through.

Youth Development, Inc. (YDI), founded in 1971, is a nationally recognized youth and family service organization in New Mexico. We can help you with preschool and child care, prenatal care, alternative education, job training employment assistance, mental and behavioral health services, homeless assistance, emergency housing, mentoring, family development services, family counseling services, and supervised visitation.


Publication History

Read about current projects, health reports, and data briefs discussing issues in maternal and child health . 

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