The San Juan River is a 383 mile long major tributary of the Colorado River and a primary drainage for the Four Corners.
Navajo Lake is a 3800 feet long and 400 feet deep reservoir located in northeastern San Juan County, created from a dam completed in 1962.
Shiprock (Tsé Bitʼaʼí, "rock with wings") is a 27 million year old volcanic rock formation, designated as a National Natural Landmark, rising 1,583 feet above the desert.
The Aztec Ruins National Monument, on 318 acres, consists of dwellings and sacred structures built by Ancient Pueblo Indians in the 12th and 13th Centuries.
Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness (Bisti Badlands) is a 45,000-acre wilderness area full of rock formations made of sandstone, shale, mudstone, and silt.
Angel Peak Scenic Area is located 15 miles south of Bloomfield in San Juan County, with over 10,000 acres of rugged terrain, badlands and deep canyons.
The eggs and hoodoos in the Bisti Wilderness were formed in sand and silt revealed 73 million years ago when the Western Interior Seaway receded.
The La Plata Mountains, seen from San Juan County, are a small subrange of the San Juan Mountains in sw Colorado, and includes Hesperus Mountain at 13,332 feet.

Mental Health

Mental Health - High School Youth

Across San Juan County, on the 2021 YRRS, 41.2% of high school students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the past year (for every day for two or more weeks): 53.2.6% of girls and 29.1% of boys. Overall, this is statistically similar to New Mexico (44%) and the U.S. (42%).

Felt Sad or Hopeless
Everyday for 2 weeks or more, Past 12 months

Trends Mental Health Indicators - High School Aged Youth

There has been a marked increase in the percentage of youth who report persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. This trend has been true for the county, as well as across the state and U.S. Other indicators of mental health have remained relatively consistent. Note the questions for high school students ask about experiences over the past year.

Mental Health Indicators - Comparisons

Persistent feelings of sadness have increased among all subpopulations.

Among males, the percentage increased from 19% in 2013 to 29% in 2021; among females, from 37% in 2013 to 53% in 2021.

Trends Mental Health Indicators - Middle School Youth

There was a modest increase through 2019, and then a slight decrease in 2021, in the percentage of middle school youth who report suicide ideation at some time in their life. Note these three questions ask if the student has "ever" had the experience.

Housing Instability Among High School Youth

On the 2021 YRRS, 1.4% of youth in high school reported they were homeless or living in "unstable" housing situations (that is, other than living with parents or guardians). This is lower than in 2019 (4.8%), suggesting that the population of students taking the YRRS during the pandemic may have been somewhat different, possibly with youth in unstable housing situations even less likely to be in school at the time.

A new YRRS question in 2019 found that 7.5% of youth had slept away from home at some point in the past 30 days because they had been "kicked out, ran away, or were abandoned?" In 2021, 4.6% reported having had that experience.
Homelessness Among Youth

Where "usually sleep" is not with
parents or guardians, 
past 30 days

Kicked out, Ran away or Abandoned
Reason for sleeping somewhere
other than home,
past 30 days

Mental Health - Adults

A question on the CDC telephone survey with adults (the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, or BRFSS) asks, "Now thinking about your mental health, which includes stress, depression, and problems with emotions, for how many days during the past 30 days was your mental health not good?" In general, counties where residents experience a higher number of unhealthy days are likely to have higher unemployment, poverty, and prevalence of disability than counties with fewer unhealthy days.

14 days or more days of poor mental health per month is defined by the CDC to be "frequent mental distress," tending to suggest persistent mental health issues that impact quality of life. Rates are higher for women than men.

In San Juan County, in 2021, 17.6% reported 14 or more poor mental health days in the past month. San Juan County is statistically similar to New Mexico (15%).

Frequent Mental Distress
14 or more days "not good" 
past month

Mental Health - Race/Ethnicity and Sex

In addition to asking about mental health in the past month, the BRFSS survey also asks respondents to indicate whether they are experiencing a "doctor diagnosed depression." Overall, 17.6% of San Juan County residents reported they had been diagnosed with depression by a medical / health professional.

Women are more likely than men, and Whites are more likely than other races/ethnicities to be diagnosed with depression by a doctor or other healthcare provider.

Youth data for San Juan County: Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS), New Mexico Dept of Health. See to download the county report.

National Youth Data: National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)

Adult data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), CDC. Available at NM-IBIS and at

Also see a recent NM DOH publication: The State of Mental Health in New Mexico
The Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS) is part of the national YRBSS system of surveys and is administered across New Mexico with high school and middle school students in the Fall of odd-numbered years by the New Mexico Dept. of Health in collaboration with school districts and the New Mexico Public Education Dept.

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) volunteer telephone survey with adults across the U.S. These data area most readily available from New Mexico's Indicator-Based Information System (NM-IBIS). Additional information is available from the CDC website:

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