State Works To Fill The Void Left By Turquoise

Mar 31, 2015

An Arizona nonprofit that came to New Mexico after the 2013 behavioral health shakeup called it quits on March 31 after less than two years. 

Turquoise Health and Wellness was the main provider of mental health and substance abuse treatment to several cities in Southeast New Mexico. Not anymore. Human Services Department spokesperson Matt Kennicott said since the company gave its 90-day closure notice, the state has been working with communities to find replacements.

District Court judges in Chaves County have expressed concern that they won't be able to order people into treatment if behavioral health capacity in the area is diminished.
Credit Marisa Demarco / KUNM

"We want there to be minimal, if any, disruptions in service to the consumers who are receiving their services," he said. "We’ve got a very solid plan in place here to help continue meeting those needs and hopefully plug in some gaps that have been there for some time."

Kennicott added that the capacity for care should remain the same.

La Casa de Buena Salud, a federally qualified health center, is expanding to absorb Turquoise behavioral health clients. The New Mexico Rehab Center has become certified to provide outpatient drug and alcohol counseling. And private practitioners are also taking on patients.