Behavioral Health Overview

As the children’s behavioral health authority for all children in New Mexico, CYFD actively supports and encourages the ongoing development and implementation of effective behavioral health services for infants, toddlers, children, adolescents and transition age youth statewide.

Communities of Care
A Community of Care is a network of services, supports, and relationships built by committed people who have a stake in improving outcomes for children and youth with serious behavioral health challenges. Building a Community of Care requires the engagement of multiple stakeholders and a foundation of trusting and respectful relationships.

A Community of Care is primarily designed for children and youth, and their families, who are:

 - in an out of home placement or at high risk of out of home placement, and
 - involved in either protective services or juvenile justice services or both, and
 - have received a behavioral health diagnosis that qualifies them for services as delivered by Core Service    Agencies.

Meeting A Need
Five to nine percent of children and youth in New Mexico between ages 9 and 17 have serious emotional disturbances that cause substantial functional impairment, and many do not receive the supports and services they need to reach their full potential at home, at school, and in their communities.

Many of our infants, children, and young people with behavioral health challenges are involved with multiple public and private systems such as; education, behavioral health, juvenile justice, protective services, primary care, and community agencies and groups. Services and supports are often not coordinated or integrated, and sometimes are inconsistent or even in conflict.

How We Can Make A Difference
Community of Care teams are working locally to meet the mental health needs of children and youth, and helping them thrive in all aspects of their lives. Children and youth with serious mental health needs can make substantial improvements at home, at school and in the community when served through systems of care that provide community-based services.

Key outcomes for children and families served in the Community of Care initiative include:

  • Decreased hospitalization
  • Reduced involvement in the juvenile justice system
  • Mental health improvements
  • Suicide-related behaviors significantly reduced
  • School attendance improved
  • School achievement improved
  • Significant reductions in placements in juvenile detention and other secure facilities

Community of Care Values
Individual child/youth and family voice and choice:
Individuals and families' needs lead all aspects of their care, from individualized service planning and delivery to state-level policy development.

Community based and community driven:
Services and supports are provided in local community settings that are least-restrictive, integrated, inclusive, de-stigmatizing, and promoting of relationships and connection with families. Communities are empowered to design systems of care that are responsive to local needs and maximize community strengths.

Recovery and resiliency focused:
Services are individualized to meet the unique and specific needs of the individual and family. The individual's and family's capacity for recovery and resiliency and their needs, strengths and preferences drive service choices and delivery.

Culturally and linguistically responsive:
The service system and its components provides for persons, youth and families in a manner that meets the continuous cultural, ethnic, religious, preferential, tribal and linguistic needs of the individuals and families receiving services. Such cultural responsiveness is inherently individualized and strength-based as it prioritizes and celebrates the preferences, practices and identities of those it serves.

Adaptable and Sustainable:
Local and statewide networks of support are reliable and responsive to change in the long-term. This includes an ongoing adaptability to incorporate cutting-edge evidence-based practices, continuous development of creative financial strategies and pathways to maintain and build the array of services, and direct information pathways to ensure quick response to the needs of individuals, families and communities.

Strengths based:
Individuals and families are always viewed first and primarily from their strengths, positive attributes, resiliency, skills and capacities. The treatment team works with the individual and family to identify such strengths, and these strengths serve as the foundation for visions and goals, strategies and interventions.

Treatment teams and systems demonstrate patience and perseverance in the change process. Team members and leaders do not give up on families and youth when progress is side-tracked or stalled, crises occur, bureaucracy and regulations complicate service delivery, conflict arises or collaborative efforts are derailed.


For more information on CYFD's Behavioral Health programs, please call (505) 827-8008.

Statewide Crisis and Access hotline:  1-855-NMCRISIS (1-855-662-7474)