United Way And LANL Partner To Make A Difference

by Staff Reporter / May 19, 2017 / comments
UWNNM Executive Director Kristy Ortega, left, presents a plaque to Carole Rutten of the LANL Community Partnerships Office. Courtesy photo

United Way And LANL Partner To Make A Difference

This is part of a series that will run throughout the month of May as part of the United Way of Northern New Mexico Behavioral Health(y) Community Initiative.

United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) are embarking upon an exciting new partnership through the UWNNM Cornerstone Program! A shared objective in this partnership is to keep up with the most critical areas of need in the counties we serve. Because of the Laboratory and other Cornerstone Businesses, UWNNM hosts community focused meetings, engages in regular communication with a variety of non-profits, local governments, and local business.

From processing payments to focusing on critical community needs, the Laboratory, with the support of the Los Alamos National Securities (LANS) Community Commitment Plan has come on board as the newest Cornerstone. UWNNM and the Laboratory have a long-standing partnership. This year however, the support extends even further. Included in this new partnership is the UWNNM Behavioral Health(y) Community Initiative that spans Rio Arriba and Los Alamos Counties. The United Way of Northern New Mexico Behavioral Health(y) Community Initiative exists to support a Behavioral Health(y) Community by working to provide resources, raise awareness, and normalize behavioral and mental health care.

“We rely on United Way of Northern New Mexico for their expertise and knowledge of community organizations that are making a difference on the ground every day,” said Kathy Keith of the LANL Community Programs Office. “By LANS keeping their community investment local, United Way is able to leverage resources so that the most pressing issues in our communities are being addressed.”

“Working together to provide resources for lab employees and community members, while raising awareness about these resources is a key element of our partnership,” UWNNM Executive Director Kristy Ortega said.

In February, UWNNM participated in the 1st Annual LANL Heart Health Fair where they asked Laboratory Employees about their mental health and awareness of resources. The majority of responders stated that they would seek treatment and were aware of resources at the Lab, including the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the OMBUDS Office.

As part of Mental Health Month, UWNNM and LANL are highlighting the Behavioral Health(y) Community portion of their partnership. “Mental health is just as important as physical health,” said Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan. “In May, we observe National Mental Health Awareness Month, and I encourage our entire workforce to take advantage of the excellent Laboratory resources and community-sponsored programs that strengthen both mind and body.”

To date, the Laboratory OMBUDS office has trained more than 300 employees in Mental Health First Aid. In addition, since 2014, more than  1,000 employees have been trained on Suicide Awareness in the Workplace.

United Way of NNM and Los Alamos National Laboratory are committed to making a better quality of life for residents in Los Alamos and Rio Arriba Counties. Through our Cornerstone Partnership with Los Alamos National Security and the Laboratory, United Way is able to focus on the critical needs of these counties, by making our nonprofits stronger and working to identify gaps to help meet needs.

Future activities include:

·       Mental Health First Aid Training is 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 5 and  7. To learn more about this excellent 8-hour training, call the Lab OMBUDS Office at 505.665.2837.

·       United Way of Northern New Mexico Funded Partner Tours – Fall/Summer 2017 to include Behavioral Health Programs in and serving Los Alamos and Rio Arriba County. For more information, email INFO@UNITEDWAYNNM.ORG

·       Take Action during Mental Health Month - Self Help, Inc. has created the Mental Health Access Point website that, in addition to many resources, hosts various self-screening tools. We are asking everyone in our community to self-screen this May. You may learn something about yourself or someone you know. Discuss what you learned with others, share information and resources together. Visit HTTP://LOSALAMOSMENTALHEALTH.ORG/, to screen today!