Explore hosts free teen mental health event

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Next on deck For Explora’s Teen Science Cafe series features a helpful look at mental health. Teens get free admission and snacks during the talk which features Dr. Z, a forensic psychologist from Albuquerque. Attendees will learn about simple coping strategies to assist in times of stress.

Rene Palomares oversees X Studio, Explora’s teen center where the science cafes take place. The former high school teacher has seen firsthand that mental health is something teens struggle with.

He said he recently lost a former student to suicide, which made mental health a priority for him. “We never know what someone is going through. On paper, this former student was amazing. He played basketball, he was in college. You never know their struggle. So if we can get these coping mechanisms and provide that community,” Palomares said. “They need to know it’s okay to not feel okay but know they have a support system.”

Palomares said they often facilitate listening sessions to hear directly from teens on what they would like to see as a featured topic of discussion for the science cafes. He said an intern he works with initiated the idea of ​​exploring the topic of mental health, simply because he had his own questions about the topic.

He said everyone has been affected by mental health, especially during the pandemic. Palomares hopes to provide resources and healthy coping mechanisms to the attendees will help give them the tools to cope as they go into the new school year.

The event takes place Friday, July 29 at 5:30 pm at Explora. For more information, visit the event page on Explora’s website.

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