New Mexico Crisis Access Line Celebrates Grand Opening of Peer-to-Peer Warmline

Warmline Offers Non-Crisis Support From Specialists With Shared Experiences
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Nov. 9, 2015) — The New Mexico Crisis Access Line is celebrating the grand opening of its new Peer-to-Peer Warmline, which offers assistance and an understanding ear to New Mexicans struggling with substance abuse, grief, suicidal thoughts and other behavioral health issues.
Working in close coordination with the existing professional resources of NMCAL, the Warmline is an expansion of NMCAL’s professional counselor-staffed crisis line, providing confidential non-crisis support from specially trained specialists who have in the past struggled with their own behavioral health or substance abuse issues.

“We are pleased to be celebrating grand opening of this valuable new support system for New Mexicans seeking a confidential and non-judgmental ear to help them navigate the challenges of everyday life,” said Wendy Linebrink-Allison, program manager. “Since our soft launch of this expanded service in September, our peer support specialists have answered more than 1,200 calls, offering crucial assistance and encouragement to those struggling to overcome substance abuse, isolation and mental health issues.”

NMCAL will mark its official launch during a reception Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Matrix Fine Art Center at 3812 Central Avenue S.E. in Albuquerque. Warmline managers and peer specialists will be on hand to discuss the role of the Warmline and share early experiences of its success and impact to date.

Data and caller feedback show the new Warmline, created in partnership with the Office of Peer Recovery and Engagement at the Human Services, is already fulfilling its goal for expanding the state’s mental health support system to include recovery and resiliency services that can prevent crises and improve New Mexicans’ quality of life.
“You guys have been guardian angels to me, thank you!” one caller said.
“I really enjoy talking to you guys. It’s like I’ve found a new friend,” said another.

To date, the average length of calls to the warm line is 21.7 minutes, with 93 percent of callers saying they “just want to talk.”

“We really make a strong connection with our callers, sometimes to the point where we speak to them several times a day,” one peer support specialist said. “Some of those callers have very few other people in life to talk to, and sometimes I have been told that we are the only people the caller speaks to in the whole day.”
The peer support specialists say that being able to share their own experiences with callers breaks down the unfortunate stigma attached to mental illness and substance use and enables the callers to see their problems as much more manageable and conquerable.

“We have several callers who are in the recovery,” one peer support specialist said. “One caller in particular has expressed that he doesn’t know how he would have stayed in recovery this long without the Warmline. He calls nearly every night and distills his feelings over the phone. He has family support but nobody he feels he can open up to. For this caller, just being available to listen helps him stay on track.”

Inspired by the 2011 recommendations of the House Joint Memorial 17 Task Force, the warm line is staffed between 3:30 and 11:00 pm daily by peer support specialists who are specially trained to use their own experiences to offer support and serve as navigators through state and community behavioral health care services. NMCAL counselors answer calls to the Warmline at any other time when a peer specialist is not staffed.

Crisis Line: 1-855-NMCRISIS (1-855-662-7474)
Peer to Peer Warmline: 1-855-4NM-7100 (1-855-466-7100), or visit our website at

About NMCAL:
The New Mexico Crisis and Access Line (NMCAL) is a statewide mental health crisis line for anyone who resides in the State of New Mexico. NMCAL is a centralized, single telephone number, answered by professional counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Counselors have access to emergency workers if needed, are trained in assessing a crisis and responding with the least restrictive alternative. Additionally, callers are referred to resources local to them at the end of the call or by a follow up call by the next business day. The Warm Line is an extension of the NMCAL crisis line services and offers free and confidential support by certified peer support specialists.

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