Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Bernalillo County is helping residents with mental health resources

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Bernalillo County has released an app to help people with mental health problems. Evan Gonzales, a community programs specialist with the Department of Behavioral Health Services, said the goal is to create something that will help the community find the resources they need, especially in the wake of COVID-19.

“Isolation, along with other factors, has really led people to identify behavioral health needs, be it for themselves, a loved one, family member, or friend. We really took that to heart and as we continued the services as a department, we also realized that people need resources, ”said Gonzales.

The department operates the Care Campus, a detoxification facility. Gonzales said customers who are laid off encourage them to download the app so they have the resources they need on hand. “When the app was launched, we grew really organically from word of mouth, friends and family. The app could be shared by many different people who found it beneficial, ”said Gonzales.

Gonzales said they wanted to make it as easy as possible for members of the community to access their services. If someone is interested in a particular department service, the app uses GPS to determine how far they are from this service and how best to get there. “This is really important for those who may not have easy transportation. You can find places and services that are within walking distance, ”said Gonzales. “Many of our customers and community members have succeeded because they are finally able to find the services that are close to them.”

In addition to the short-term detox center, the Department of Behavioral Health Services has a nightly sobering service called the Public Inebriate Intervention Program. It provides a safe environment for individuals to get off the substance they are ingesting.

The crisis stabilization center works closely with the local emergency rooms and hospitals. “That way, we can best provide these services to our customers without adding extra beds in the emergency room,” said Gonzales.

These types of services are made possible through the Behavioral Health Initiative. The initiative was approved by voters for self-taxing in order to create a behavioral health system. The department has been working to embed itself into the community, Gonzales said to help as many people as possible. “It’s just great that we can work with them, and this app really helps us shed light on the services that are free to residents of Bernalillo County because of this behavioral health tax,” said Gonzales.

The app is available for both Android and iPhone users. Further information can be found at bernco.gov/department-behavioral-health-services.

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