Community Health Education and Resiliency Program









May is Mental Health Awareness Month

In observance of Mental Health Awareness Month, May is an ideal time to highlight the importance of mental health and well-being. As the pandemic continues to have a profound impact on mental health, it's more important than ever to prioritize self-care and seek help when needed. For caregivers as well as healthcare professionals, this also means doing a self-check in and recognizing the impact that their work can have on their own mental health.

One way to start this self-check in is by using Mental Health America’s free screening tools. These tools can help individuals identify symptoms of mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, and provide resources for seeking support. By taking a few minutes to assess their own mental health, healthcare professionals can better understand their own needs and take steps to address any concerns.

Self-care is also critical for healthcare professionals to prevent burnout and compassion fatigue. This can include taking breaks throughout the day to recharge, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in activities outside of work that bring joy and fulfillment.

Mental Health Awareness Month is a reminder that mental health is essential to overall health and wellbeing. By prioritizing self-care and doing regular self-check ins, healthcare professionals can better support themselves and their patients. Let's continue to break the stigma surrounding mental health and prioritize taking care of ourselves and each other.

PRIDE Month 2023 

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community has come a long way since the Stonewall riots of 1969 where a series of violent demonstrations between the police and LGBTQ protestors occurred over a span of six days. This was not the first time gay establishments were raided and certainly not the first time LGBTQ people fought back, but these events fundamentally changed the discourse of activism by the LGBTQ community. Over the years since these events, many gay rights organizations have been formed to promote human diversity and inclusion in all spaces. 

During the month of June every year, the LGBTQ community across the globe proudly celebrate the historical strides for visibility with festivals, parades, and other exciting events to educate, commemorate, and continue the fight for true liberation of all LGBTQ people. Across the country, the celebrations are a reflection on the progress of the LGBTQ movement in the fight for justice and equality. It’s also a time to be an ally, to support and stand with your local LGBTQ community. Visit the Albuquerque Pride Festival here for more information about this year’s Pride celebration in Albuquerque! 

Fentanyl Awareness Day, May 9, 2023

May 9, 2023 was the second annual Fentanyl Awareness Day. Many opioid prevention programs offer Fentanyl test strips to community members and providers. Test strips are a wonderful tool; however, programs need to ensure that the test strips are getting into the right hands and that people receiving the test strips have proper education on how to use them. 

Fentanyl test strips are good for people who are not opioid dependent. The population who uses opioids knows that Fentanyl has compromised the drug supply chain. People who use meth, coke, molly, and other pressed pills for recreational use do not always know what they are using. We want to be educating this population to use Fentanyl test strips.

Another good tool for the prevention of an overdose is glass pipes. People who use opioids in New Mexico have been moving away from using syringes to consume their opioids and have started to use glass pipes. Glass pipes allow a person to have a little more control over how much drug is consumed. Glass pipes also prevent the spread of HIV, HCV, abscesses, and bacterial infections. Unfortunately, it is illegal for programs to distribute glass pipes. Hopefully, that will change in the future.

While Fentanyl has taken so many lives. We as a nation must stop sharing misinformation that will continue stigmatization and scare tactic education, as these methods have not worked in the past and are compromising the harm reduction movement. For more information on how glass pipes are a form of harm reduction, please read this harm reduction journal from the BMC.

National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth

The National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth, observed annually in May since 2013, aims to promote alternative approaches to addressing youth criminal offenses and highlight the ineffectiveness of youth incarceration. 

Around 800,000 youth are arrested each year, with about 50,000 being incarcerated and another 50,000 on probation. Most youth offenses are non-violent, and one of the main catalysts for youth arrests are status offenses, which are acts that would not be illegal if committed by adults. Some common status offenses include truancy, running away from home, violating curfew, and use of alcohol. When a youth commits one of these status offenses, their behavior is often a result of traumas and/or adversities they are experiencing. 

Research shows that incarcerating youth does not rehabilitate, and in-fact has the opposite effect, causing further trauma and harm. The current systems of control and punishment stifle childhood development through practices that traumatize and dehumanize. Removing young people from their homes, schools, and social supports is traumatic and inhibits positive development. The trauma resulting from incarceration creates formidable barriers for young people to re-integrate into their community, school, family, etc. As a result, most youth who are incarcerated will remain in the legal system as adults and will face repeated incarceration. Additionally, when a young person is incarcerated, their family and community are also impacted by their removal, causing further trauma and harm. Incarcerating youth fails to yield improvements or address the needs of the offender, victim/survivor, or the community. Furthermore, studies have demonstrated that a vast majority of young people who engage in behaviors that are criminalized, will naturally grow out of behavior that is criminalized and transition well into adulthood without any contact with the juvenile legal system.

Some positive alternatives to incarcerating youth include traditional medicine/healing practices, trauma-informed practices in schools and community programs, youth empowerment and leadership opportunities, positive youth community programs (such as after-school and summer programs), and increased resources (such as more counselors in schools).

To request training on trauma-informed practices, contact PIYL Program Coordinator, Tony Quintana, at  

National HIV Testing Day 

National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) is observed each year on June 27 to highlight the importance of HIV testing. This year's awareness day emphasizes the steps everyone can take once they know their HIV status. The NHTD theme for 2023 is “Take the Test & Take the Next Step.” This theme emphasizes that knowing your HIV status helps you choose options to stay healthy.

HIV testing, including self-testing, is the pathway to engaging people in care to keep them healthy, regardless of their test result. People who receive a negative test result can take advantage of HIV prevention tools such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), condoms, and other sexual health services such as vaccines and testing for sexually transmitted infections. People who receive a positive test result can rapidly start HIV treatment (antiretroviral therapy, or ART) to stay healthy.

You can order safer sex supplies and at-home HIV test kits free from CHERP here.

Online Supply Orders

The Community Health Education and Resiliency Program provides safer sex supplies (condoms, dental dams, lube), HIV Self-Test Kits, Narcan, Fentanyl Test Strips, and Deterra Pouches to individuals and organizations in the IHS Albuquerque Area. Please use the links below to order your supplies.


Safer Sex Supplies and HIV Self-Test Kits:

Narcan, Fentanyl Test Strips, and Deterra Pouches:

For more information about online orders, contact Kurt at


ESCALATE Trainings

ESCALATE Training facilitates transformative and relational change in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programs (RWHAP) by increasing participants' knowledge and skills to recognize and address HIV-related stigma within their organizations and communities they serve. This happens through a deepening awareness of and practices for cultural humility amongst people with HIV. Trainers create an equitable and transformative environment for RWHAP providers to learn with and from their people with HIV partners.

Upcoming ESCALATE Trainings:

  • Charlotte, NC - June 18 - 23, 2023
  • Bronx, NY (Dual English and Spanish) - July 16 -21, 2023
  • Detroit, MI - August 13 - 18, 2023

Register Now

For more information, please email Christopher J. Paisano at

US Conference on HIV/AIDS

September 6-9, 2023

Marriott Marquis

Washington, DC

The 2023 United States Conference on HIV/AIDS (USCHA) will take place September 6–9, 2023 at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC. This year’s theme is “A Love Letter to Black Women”.

Similar to the focus on Puerto Rico and Latinx populations last year, the conference will lean into this theme by celebrating and honoring Black women (cis and trans). The conference will highlight Black women across our movements, from activists to women living with HIV, national advocates, community voices, federal leaders, health department staff, healthcare workers, researchers and women-focused organizations. The Opening Plenary will tell their stories and acknowledge their contributions. Their experiences will be highlighted in workshops, institutes, posters, and special events. A section of the exhibit hall will be set aside for small businesses owned and operated by Black women.

For more information, click here.


NM Community Planning and Action Group Meetings - August 2023

To join the NM CPAG list serve, email John Murphy at

If you have events you want to include in our monthly newsletter, please send them to Kurt at

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