ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Initiatives are being undertaken to help raise awareness of and prevent child abuse
Gov. Bill Richardson has proclaimed April as “Child Abuse Prevention Month” in New Mexico.
A news release from the Governor’s Office said Richardson issued the proclamation in an effort to address the approximate 30,000 reports of child abuse and neglect in the state each year.
“Child abuse and neglect are serious problems, and finding a solution depends upon the involvement of people within our community,” the governor said in his proclamation. “During periods of economic challenges, families feel more vulnerable, and as a result, child abuse and neglect increase drastically.”
The news release said three members of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative — the Children, Youth and Families Department, the Human Services Department and the Department of Health — will be working together during April to help raise awareness of and prevent child abuse, and support families in their efforts to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all of New Mexico’s children.
The news release said initiatives being undertaken are:
- Encouraging parents to learn the Twelve Alternatives to Lashing Out at Your Child, which can be found on the Children, Youth and Families Department Web site at http://www.cyfd.org/content/april-child-abuse-prevention-month.
- Launching the Maternal Depression Workgroup pilot program to address maternal depression and substance abuse. The pilot program will work with women in Santa Fe, Sandoval and San Miguel counties in an effort to assure that women with depression during pregnancy or postpartum, especially women at dual risk due to substance abuse identified through validated screening, receive the care they need to be healthy parents for one year.
- Providing a public service announcement encouraging parents to recognize the possibility of child abuse or neglect and urging them to seek help. The PSAs are being distributed to the New Mexico Broadcasters Association radio stations.
The news release said that while the goal is prevent child abuse, Richardson’s proclamation also encourages all New Mexicans to report abuse or neglect to the Children, Youth and Families Department’s statewide central intake hot line at 1-800-797-3260 or to law enforcement or the appropriate tribal entity.