January 30, 2013
Governor Susana Martinez Announces Launch of Statewide Mental Health Crisis Line
SANTA FE – Every New Mexican will now have a place to turn to when they or someone they love are experiencing a mental health crisis. Beginning February 1, 2013, the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line (NMCAL) will be available statewide, helping New Mexicans get access to local help and resources during a mental health crisis. The line will be available statewide and toll free at 1-855-NMCRISIS (1-855-662-7474).
“We should be providing every resource we can to New Mexicans who are in need of mental health services, especially during times of crisis,” said Governor Susana Martinez. “Offering a helping hand during someone’s darkest moments can go a long way toward assisting that individual and putting them on the road to recovery. The first step to addressing a mental health crisis is ensuring easy access to services and I’m pleased that we are able to offer this hotline to those who need it.”
The crisis line will be staffed by mental health professionals who can respond to a crisis 24 hours per day and 7 days per week. The line will be available statewide and toll free at 1-855-NMCRISIS (1-855-662-7474).
The State is working in collaboration with OptumHealth New Mexico and ProtoCall to bring the line to New Mexico. OptumHealth New Mexico is the statewide entity that currently contracts with the state in order to provide behavioral health services to New Mexicans.
“We want to make it easier for people to access care,” said Human Services Secretary Sidonie Squier, who also serves as Co-Chair of the Behavioral Health Collaborative. “The crisis line will help people receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place so they can reach recovery.”
NMCAL staff will help stabilize the person experiencing a crisis. After the situation is under control, the mental health specialist will refer the individual to the appropriate community mental health resources. The NMCAL coordinates with local provider agencies, respite, warm lines, emergency rooms, law enforcement agencies and correctional facilities. Currently, Core Service Agencies are contracted to provide after-hours crisis lines to their limited population in a specific geographic location. The NMCAL will complement these services by providing local resources for all New Mexicans around-the-clock. The goal is to close any existing gaps in access to crisis help when New Mexicans need it most.
“In New Mexico, we recognize the need to provide more coordinated crisis services and this is a step that will help everyone know that they are one phone call away from getting help,” said Governor Martinez. “This statewide crisis line gives people a simple and easy way to access mental health and substance abuse services,” said OptumHealth New Mexico CEO Elizabeth Martin. “We hope that anyone who needs help calls to get the help and support they need to get and stay healthy.”
About the New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative
The Collaborative was created during the 2004 Legislature to allow most state agencies and resources involved in behavioral health treatment and recovery to work as one in an effort to improve mental health and substance abuse services in New Mexico This cabinet-level group represents 15 agencies and the Governor’s office.