Behavioral Health Services

About Us

This pamphlet provides information on the Bernalillo County Department of Behavioral Health Services’ The Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) is a specialized treatment facility designed for those individuals in the midst of a mental health crisis who are not suicidal and/or homicidal. Services provided by the CSU are designed for individuals whose coping skills have been temporarily eclipsed by life events.

CSU services include: daily living/socialization skills training, individual and group therapies, and targeted therapeutic activities such as Journaling and Trauma Informed Yoga all offered within a supportive and client centered treatment environment. The program capacity is 16 beds, with a 14-day length of stay.

Our Mission

To provide behavioral health recovery support to individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis. DBHS’ CSU focus of services is on returning the individual to their home environment after therapeutically resolving the life events that led to the crisis state. DBHS does not discriminate based on race, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

In line with other DBHS programs, the Crisis Unit functions as a social model program. DBHS will provide a warm hand-off to other community behavioral health facilities providing a higher level of care as needed. Initially, the Crisis Unit was taking referrals only from University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) programs. The CSU program is now gradually expanding its referral base. Clients to be accepted will be over the age of 18. Clients will have experienced a recent decline in behavioral and/or emotional stability due to a precipitating event or events. Listed below are the criteria for acceptance into the DBHS Crisis Unit:

Admission Criteria

ü Client is a voluntary admit to the Crisis Unit.

ü Client scores at an acceptable level on risk assessments completed by DBHS personnel evaluating risk for suicidality and/or danger to others.

ü Client is able to perform all activities of daily living.

ü Client must be ambulatory but may use walker/cane as needed.

ü Client is not aggressive or highly agitated

ü Client is sufficiently oriented and cognitive functioning is not severely impaired.

ü Client has no major medical problems that would compromise safety in a social model milieu.

ü Client has no communicable diseases.

ü If prescribed, client has life-sustaining and psych medications on hand.

DBHS has licensed behavioral health clinicians on staff. These staff members will perform ongoing assessment of client functioning, develop Individual Service Plans with clients, and monitor need for a change in level of care due to changes in client status while clients are on the Unit. DBHS has Case Manager(s) on staff to assist in discharge planning with the client.

Client Rooms

Clients will be provided their own room that they may share with a roommate. On a daily basis, you are responsible for your own personal living space, making your bed each morning, and keeping your room neat and clean.

Personal Items / Necessities and Requirements

· Toiletries – Hand sanitizer and mouth wash must be alcohol free. You will be supplied with a bath towel, hand towel and wash cloth, and any other items used for daily hygiene must be supplied by the client.

· Clothing – You will have a shelving unit to store your clothing. Due to limited space, you must be selective in what you choose to bring. It is a requirement that clothing and other items be stored neatly in the shelving unit; anything that does not fit neatly in the shelving unit will need to be removed from your room.

· Bedding – Sheets, a blanket, pillow and pillow case will be provided.


Tobacco / Nicotine Use

Tobacco and nicotine use is a privilege and not a right. Tobacco and nicotine products may include cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars or ecigs. Tobacco and nicotine use is allowed only in designated smoking areas and at designated break times. No tobacco or nicotine use is allowed in any part of any Bernalillo County building. Please use containers provided for cigarette butts. If any one client is observed using tobacco or nicotine products outside of the designated time or place the privilege for the entire community may be lost. Tobacco is never to be stored in client rooms.


The CARE campus is a closed campus. Visitation is allowed only when the visit is scheduled as a part of your treatment. Such visits will be scheduled with your Therapist in accordance with the Therapist schedule.

Contact Information

Initial referrals must come from the UNM Health Sciences Psychiatric Center. Once you have a referral, please contact Bernalillo County Clinical Administration at 505-252-9473.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the rooms in the unit like? Clients have semi-private rooms. They are responsible for keeping their room neat and clean, including making the bed daily.

What may I bring with me? For the first 72 hours, clients wear clothing supplied by the program. Thereafter, clients can wear their own clothing if they wish. Due to space limitations, personal clothing items should be kept to a minimum. There are a washer and dryer on the unit. Sheets, towels and blankets are provided, shampoo and soap are available. Clients may bring cosmetics, blow dryers, and electric shaver. Clients may have items dropped off once weekly. They need to have a list of items and staff must inspect all items brought to the unit.

What are your rules about smoking? The program has set times each day for “smoke breaks,” which are limited to one area on the campus. Clients may bring unopened cigarette packs with them; cigarettes are kept with staff. There is no smoking allowed in rooms or on other parts of the campus apart from the designated space and times.

What if I have medication I need to take? Clients are asked to bring with them any life-sustaining medications. They should also bring any other prescribed medications. Medications are logged in and kept by staff. Clients are assisted in taking their medications at specified times.

May I have Visitors? The CARE campus is a closed campus. Visitation is allowed only when the visit is scheduled as a part of treatment. Such visits will be scheduled with your Therapist in accordance with the Therapist schedule.

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger--but recognize the opportunity.”

John F. Kennedy

Department Of Behavioral Health Services
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