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"Where Do We Go?" Behavioral Health Fallout In N.M.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM
Marchers head to the Roundhouse to call on lawmakers not to cut into behavioral health funding.

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 2/18 8a: 



The state’s attorney general cleared just about all of the providers accused of Medicaid fraud a couple of years ago—but the news didn’t come soon enough to keep many of their doors open.

Arizona companies were hired to take over during the shakeup, and a couple of them left. In the meantime, communities and the state have scrambled to fill the gaps in services. People who need mental health and substance abuse treatment felt the shortages—and so did the state’s criminal justice system.

Lawmakers are also considering cutting $8 million from behavioral health services in the next budget. As this year’s legislative session nears its final hours, we’ll be talking about behavioral health all over the state.

Have you or someone you love been impacted by a shortage in mental health and substance abuse treatment options? What should happen now that most providers were cleared by the AG? How can we strengthen the behavioral health system in New Mexico?

We’d like to hear from you! Email callinshow@kunm.org or call in live during the show.

Special thanks to Generation Justice for allowing us to use clips from the #NMSpeaksCrisis campaign throughout the hour.


Lauren Reichelt, Health and Human Services Director in Rio Arriba County

Nancy Jo Archer, former CEO of Hogares

•  Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham

Further reading:

After The Shakeup (a collection of reporting from KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico team)

Backgrounder on behavioral health crisis from New Mexico In Depth

Nonprofits ship mental health funds to New Mexico from The Arizona Republic

The 2013 audit that caused the state to freeze Medicaid payments to 15 N.M. providers

12 investigative reports by the Attorney General’s Office

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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