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Bernalillo County

This is the official news archive for Bernalillo County. Here, you'll find news releases sent by the county,

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BernCo, NMCAL Join Forces to Help People in Crisis

05/24/2016
1:20 PM
Andy Lenderman O (505) 314-0403 C (505) 414-0485 - alenderman@bernco.gov

Bernalillo County – Bernalillo County and the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line (NMCAL) have joined forces to provide expert crisis intervention services to county residents through the county’s 911 call system.

Callers can now be transferred directly to NMCAL by BernCo’s 911 dispatchers, eliminating unnecessary delays for people that need fast help to critical mental health counseling. The new service is available to people living in unincorporated Bernalillo County, outside the city limits.

NMCAL serves New Mexicans statewide as a mental health crisis line. The service is staffed by professional counselors in both English and Spanish, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Because of the broad awareness of the 911 emergency call system, this new partnership provides more immediate and direct access to professional help when people need it the most.

People can also call NMCAL directly at 1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474.)

“Bernalillo County is taking action to address unmet needs for more and better behavioral health services in our community,” Commission Chair Art De La Cruz says. “The team effort between Bernalillo County, the City of Albuquerque and the state of New Mexico is beginning to show results for Bernalillo County’s Behavioral Health Initiative.”

This service will be provided at no cost to Bernalillo County, since NMCAL is already funded by the state of New Mexico’s Human Services Department.

Depending on the severity of the call, 911 dispatchers can refer callers to NMCAL for direct counseling support, or dispatchers and counselors can work together while emergency responders are being dispatched to the person’s location.

This coordinated effort between NMCAL and BernCo’s 911 dispatchers improves immediate access to care for people in crisis, and provides much-needed support for emergency responders.

The new partnership with NMCAL is a crucial effort under the new Behavioral Health Initiative, designed to improve reliability and accessibility for behavioral health services to county residents.

A one-eighth percent gross receipts tax is expected to generate $17 million annually for the continued expansion of the local behavioral health system. The county is working closely with the City of Albuquerque to coordinate services and further develop plans.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line at 1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474) or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). These services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are available in both English and Spanish.

If you or someone you know needs emergency medical services, please dial 911.

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About Bernalillo County

Bernalillo County is 1,160 square miles and is New Mexico’s most populous county with more than 674,000 residents. Bernalillo County government provides a wide range of public services to residents who live in Albuquerque, Los Ranchos and Tijeras and the 111,000 residents who live outside the village and city limits in the unincorporated areas of the county.  Bernalillo County employs approximately 2,500 people and has an annual operating budget and capital investments of more than $500 million. Elected officials include five county commissioners, assessor, clerk, probate judge, sheriff and treasurer.                            

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