Power of Education by Desiree Woodland, Board President

The board for BTS-NM believes in the power of education to change attitudes and affect change. We have found that much of the information about mental illness is based on sensationalized news stories of horrific tragedies within our communities. We must do better.

BTS-NM and its board is dedicated to ensuring that every New Mexican child and adult is educated about mental illness, feels free to seek the help they need, and has genuine access to effective diagnosis and treatment. 

There is often a debate surrounding the use of the term mental illness rather than mental health disorder. They are the same thing. As a teacher and a parent and now, a board member, I needed to hear the word Illness so I could understand that though we all have mental health, brains get sick when a person has mental illness. So, whether you use mental illness, mental health disorder or mental health illness, all are acceptable terms. 

The BTS-NM Board has expanded and is growing. We are grateful for the knowledge, expertise and heart that each board member brings. 

President- Desiree Woodland

Vice President- Renetta Torres

Secretary- Alix Dean

Treasurer- Bella White

Members at Large-  Kevin Rexroad- MD, Larissa Willsey- LSW, Stephanie Casaus, Adam Herling. 

A recent project to highlight was the performance of Minds Interrupted: Stories of Lives Affected by Mental Illness. This was a fundraising event held at the Kimo, but it was so much more. 

Minds Interrupted was performed by seven people who bravely shared their experience living with mental illness. The performers touched many hearts and provided an opportunity to see the people behind the illness. Thank you to each and every performer and to our sponsors, whether an agency or individual. Without you we couldn’t do the work of reaching more youth in NM.