WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), announced that the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded a $3,000,000 grant to New Mexico’s Children, Youth, and Families Department’s Behavioral Health Services (CYFD BHS).
The CYFD BHS will use this grant to expand the existing infrastructure and capacity of the statewide behavioral health service system for children and youth ages 0-21, especially in rural communities which traditionally lack the funding to provide adequate behavioral health services.
“New Mexico’s most rural communities often lack the infrastructure and resources needed to support necessary innovative behavioral health practices to serve our youth battling serious behavioral health issues,” Udall, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said. “This HHS grant will help our local communities expand initiatives already in place and support new enterprises to bolster access to cutting edge behavioral health support for families in New Mexico, no matter where they live.”
“We need to rebuild and expand behavioral health services in New Mexico—particularly in our rural communities—so that families can get the help and support they need,” Heinrich said. “This grant will help fund the initiatives and personnel necessary to enhance the quality of life for those struggling with behavioral health issues, and expand services for children and youth regardless of income or where they live.”
“As New Mexico rebuilds our behavioral health infrastructure, this grant will be crucial in ensuring that young New Mexicans have access to the critical services they need. Rural communities face unique challenges seeking care, and I’m excited to see this investment in community health care providers that will help eliminate barriers for our families,” Luján said.
“Anyone who is struggling with their behavioral health should have access to the help they need no matter where they live. However, when New Mexico’s behavioral health system was dismantled in 2013, our communities lost the resources to tackle the struggles our families face,” Haaland said. “This grant for rural communities will increase access to age-appropriate behavioral health services for young people so they can manage their behavioral health early in life.”
“Part of supporting our youth is also ensuring that the appropriate resources exist when they face behavioral health issues, no matter where they live. This newest HHS grant will allow local organizations to expand their infrastructure to ensure that young people living in rural communities have access to the innovative behavioral health services they need closer to home,” Torres Small said.
“This grant will help CYFD in its work to rebuild community based mental health care services in Sandoval, Chaves and Valencia Counties. This is part of a broader plan to rebuild community-based supports statewide,” CYFD Secretary Brian Blalock said. “The department is really excited to be able to provide wraparound services to children with complex needs in these communities.”
The grant will help the CYFD BHS enhance the behavioral health workforce, engage youth, family and community members, improve interagency collaboration, expand the service array for children and youth, and utilize ongoing Continuous Quality Improvement framework. Trauma-informed care, family peer support services and mobile crisis response units and other services will be made available to an estimated 600 children over the life of the grant. Additionally, local communities will work with CYFD BHS to align funding streams with existing initiatives to ensure access to these services are sustainable.