NM Senate bill would aid local mental health services

Benjamin L. Rawson and Billy G. Garrett Published 9:56 p.m. MT Feb. 10, 2018 in the Las Cruces Sun News (Photo: Luis S‡nchez Saturno/The New Mexican) For people living with mental illness and/or substance use disorders, prompt access to treatment during a behavioral health crisis can determine whether a person gets the care needed – … Continue reading NM Senate bill would aid local mental health services

Sun News: Newspaper enabled behavioral health tragedy

While newspapers documented the damage caused by Gov. Susana Martinez’s freeze of behavioral health providers’ Medicaid funding in 2013, her administration deflected blame. With possible over billing and so-called “credible allegations of fraud” in hand, the state’s Human Services Department (HSD) said Obamacare required freezing 15 organizations’ funding during criminal investigations. HSD’s claim was also false.

Review of mental health system needed

It’s been four years since Governor Martinez dismantled New Mexico’s behavioral health system, falsely accusing providers of fraud , freezing federal Medicaid payments, and forcing many of those businesses to shut down, including right here in Doña Ana County. Suicide rates are increasing in New Mexico, not getting better. In fact, suicide has increased by 17.5-percent since 2013 – the year that Medicaid funding was frozen and later shifted to out-of-state behavioral health providers.

Sun News: Police on front lines in dealing with behavioral health issues

During his many years on patrol, Lt. Shane Briscoe with the Las Cruces Police Department has been dealing with behavioral health issues. He says there are four common groups. “The ones that we deal with are depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenic disorder, a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar — those are the categories that we really deal with,” says Briscoe.