New Mexico’s behavioral health system still hasn’t recovered from 2013, when many service providers were forced to close under former Gov. Susana Martinez’ administration. Now, the Children Youth and Families Department has been awarded $12 million dollars in grant funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to bolster services for young people in three rural counties.
The program aims to help young people in emotional distress or crisis, focusing on Sandoval, Valencia and Chaves counties with a grant of $3 million dollars each year for the next four years.
CYFD spokesperson Melody Wells says it’s part of an effort to rebuild services in rural areas that were hit especially hard by the 2013 shakeup.
“What we’re hoping to see is that families don’t have to travel as far, don’t have to take time off from work, don’t have to put their children into more restrictive settings," said Wells, "because they’ll be able to get services right there in their home counties and communities.”
The agencies that will get federal funds are the statewide NM Crisis and Access Line, the University of New Mexico in Rio Rancho, La Casa Family Health Center in Chaves County, and All Faiths in Valencia County.
The plan is to expand trauma-informed care, peer support, mobile crisis response and wraparound services for people up to age 21 and their families.
CYFD will also add four administrative staff positions to oversee and evaluate the program.
New Mexico's congressional delegation announced the HHS grant to CYFD on Tuesday.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the HHS grant will amount to $12 million dollars over four years, and that the quote is attributed to CYFD spokesperson Melody Wells.
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