“We want to make sure the youth and families feel supported and learn about resources available to them” states Bruno Nora a Bi-Lingual clinician at Taos Behavioral Health (TBH) who is leading the new bi-lingual Learning Pods at TBH. At least 10 youth and their families will participate in a 14- week program that is facilitated by new funding and collaboration with the Taos Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Community Catalyst.
A rich offering of activities and services in Taos depends on many volunteers. Especially when nonprofit organizations build strength in their boards, the results can create important gifts to the Taos community. Recently, Taos Behavioral Health named new board officers who are providing unique strengths.
“I got this” he declared emphatically—a silent assertion understood by a Taos Behavioral Health (TBH) clinician who knows his clients. “They think they can do everything—keep the kids connected to schoolwork, pay the bills, care for family relationships, follow all the COVID guidelines, hide the fear of the virus spread, be ok with not traveling or seeing relatives, grieve the loss of loved ones and still come out strong.”
People land in Taos for many reasons—visiting and get called by the mountain, landing here and meeting an individual or a community that echoes with their values, coming to experience the natural beauty and becoming enchanted by the richness of history and culture. Some of us stay and feel privileged to participate in the unique life here. Others are challenged by some of the realities and leave.
In a softly lit room, she walked from person to person speaking quietly. “How was your week? Any thoughts about what you felt after last week’s session? Is there any specific thing you are dealing with now?” Then she gently inserted thin medical grade needles into five points in each person’s ears that correspond to the Chinese defined points activating the parasympathetic nervous system and the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. Quiet meditative music played as she moved on to the next participant.
October has become November. The clocks have fallen back an hour. We’ve had two beautiful, moisture- filled snowfalls.
Stop, take a breath, close your eyes. Open your eyes and look around you. Find something beautiful that doesn’t require fixing. Take a moment to enjoy that glimpse of beauty that requires no effort on your part.
“I know there are great needs, but I do not know what to do. I want to help those who are suffering from economic stress” stated a Taos resident.
”There is definitely an increase in suicidal thoughts,” stated a Taos Behavioral Health (TBH) Clinician this week. “And there are unique challenges with every age and all circumstances.”
These quotes are two voices from our community.
“The School System is broken for many families” stated an agency staff member. “It just isn’t working” said another.
“I have homeless children in my therapeutic group” states a clinician. “It is different than what residents may imagine when I say those words.” He went on to describe children whose parents have simply disappeared or been incarcerated. The children were left with a grandmother or an aunt or an older sibling—often shuttled inexplicitly from one household to another with no warning. Without the safety net of school where there is structure, encouragement, food and school supplies they are often “without any of the above.”
“The only way I can keep coming back to do this work is that at the end of every workday, I do something positive,” Says Siena Sanderson, Program Director for the Nurturing Center at Taos Behavioral Health. All the Nurturing Center staff do likewise. “We go to each of the families we are working with and take them some items that have been donated to us. Everything from plants to household goods to clothes, furniture. Our cars are delivery trucks!” states Sanderson. “But the families are intensely appreciative and then it makes it possible to go back to work the next day!” And we know that most of our families are too proud and depressed to ask for what they need.
It is September and families are schooling their children from home. All kinds of arrangements have been made. Perhaps your child is spending time in a learning pod. Maybe you’ve arranged with family or neighbors for a group of children to safely do their schoolwork with one adult supporting the learners. Maybe your child is home by your side, while you do your work and run your household.