Yoga and other activities create awareness for Mental Health Awareness Month at WSMR
Yoga and other activities create awareness for Mental Health Awareness Month at White Sands Missile Range. (Photo Credit: Vanessa Flores) VIEW ORIGINAL

WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. (May 5, 2022) - White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) hosted a yoga session on May 4 at Sgt. Pedro Field to begin Mental Health Awareness Month. The yoga session was an event for employees to take a mental break from work and get outside. It was organized by the U.S. Army Garrison WSMR, Army Substance Abuse Program’s (ASAP) Employee Assistant Program.

The session instructor was a WSMR volunteer who goes by Ms. Lorena. She shared various ways to relax and release stress. She emphasized the importance of breathing and stretching while also providing information on the significance of body tapping and other relaxation methods. The session was low impact for any fitness level. Due to the session's success, ASAP may host more opportunities on WSMR for employees to partake in stress-eliminating yoga.

Yoga and other activities create awareness for Mental Health Awareness Month at WSMR
Yoga and other activities create awareness for Mental Health Awareness Month at White Sands Missile Range. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

“When it comes to mental issues, we tend to look at risk factors all the time and the warning signs. We don't look at what is out there to prevent it from happening,” said Sandra Class, WSMR ASAP Manager. “We need to be proactive, not reactive, and that is a part of what this month is about."

According to Class, there are steps or actions that one can do to prevent mental health issues and reduce stress. This month is about increasing awareness on the topic and getting the word out about all the things that one can do to combat mental issues.

Yoga and other activities create awareness for Mental Health Awareness Month at WSMR
Yoga and other activities create awareness for Mental Health Awareness Month at White Sands Missile Range (Photo Credit: Vanessa Flores) VIEW ORIGINAL

“It is important to highlight the resources and classes that are available for those on WSMR. We want to introduce non-traditional approaches to stress - like tuning fork and yoga with opportunities throughout the month. We also try to schedule them around lunch time to make it convenient for our community. Everyone is welcome,” said Class.

Upcoming activities include:

Tuning Fork Therapy, PDC Room 132 - May 10 at 11 a.m.

Detox 101, PDC Room 132 – May 12 at 10 a.m.

Vision Board Workshop, PDC Room 465 – May 17, open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

ACE Bingo, PDC Room 131 – May 18 at 10 a.m.

There will be a Health Fair at the end of the month with all the health resources available at WSMR and around Las Cruces (details available soon).

“Mental health is about taking care of yourself, especially those in helping professions,” said Class. “We also want to teach people how to recognize the signs in others and to intervene.”

Another goal of Mental Health Awareness Month is to dispel the myths and stigma around mental health. Seeking help with psychological issues will not prevent one from obtaining a security clearance is a myth that Class debunks during her training sessions.

“People think that if they go get help, it can stop them from getting a promotion,” said Class. "But that is not the case. In fact, the DoD says that getting help for your mental health is a strength, not a weakness. The DoD also changed the security clearance forms to reflect their stance and protect people's privacy regarding mental health."

For more information on Mental Health Awareness Month, suicide prevention, and other related topics, reach out to ASAP at:

Phone - 575-678-1957 or 575-678-2112

Office – PDC Building 465, Room 128