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Dr. Ross Opens Up About Mental Health and Community Resilience in Farmington

Real Talk with Dr Ross brought to you by Laykenn Kennedy

On May 15, 2023, our town of Farmington, New Mexico experienced a tragedy. Something you hear about far too often and pray it does not come close to you. We had a mass shooting, with little details brought to light, and knowing there has been multiple killings within the last month in our little town.

Hundreds of thoughts circle in my head and no one answer comes to mind. I know being locked down by myself hearing, “he is on the run!”, “he is somewhere near!” All while a helicopter is circling the tops of the buildings and I have three all glass doors for my protection; my heart was pounding.

A day that, by chance, my husband was in the same area and we are two parents. My husband was out in the open, not armed and not locked down. I can’t speak for him but as the helicopter circled and knowing that guns were involved, I know, as his wife, that that was his life for many years and I was scared for him, his mental health, our family, my community, and yes, my life.

Every time I saw a person walk by, my first thoughts were, “is that him?”, “are they hurt?”, or “do I let them in with me and get them off the street?” I also came to realize I did not want to be a sitting duck, I wanted to leave, get home, and feel safe. Luckily, I was able to do just that.

As the day ended and I came back to my office for a new day, I started to process and come to a better understanding that mental health is SOOO real! So many people downplay Mental Health, which is scary! We judge those two words, Mental Health, and hold them over others like a scarlet letter.

Am I blaming this on mental health? Nope, I am not. As a professional in this field with both work and personal examples; I hear and see so many emotions, I see so many unsure on what their next move in life is, I listen to hurt people and hear their experiences. I watch them take a deep breath; some know that this may be the last time they will feel that relief. In my experience, most people hurt starts in the home. It is so sad to see that lost inner child in an adult.

All I can say is, I am here, if you need to talk, want to talk, or you’re scared and don’t know where to start.

I was once there and felt all of that, I have no judgement and try to only offer support. I have no emotional tie to you and therefore I don’t know your situation. My arms are open, and you are not alone, even in this big world where we feel so alone you are not.

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