District 5

Bernalillo County Launches Behavioral Health Community Engagement Teams Working with the Community to Address Behavioral Health


Today the Bernalillo County Behavioral Health Services Department announces the deployment of its newest Behavioral Health Initiative program, community engagement teams. Community engagement teams (CET) will help individuals and their families voluntarily cope with the effects of living with mental illness and substance use disorders in the comfort and familiarity of their homes and communities. These teams help individuals avoid the criminal justice system and emergency mental health systems whenever possible.

CETs provide a non-emergent, pre/post crisis intervention that occurs when the client is ready and voluntarily agrees to services. CET is a peer-to-peer support system that is focused on enhancing the development of natural supports, as well as coping and self-management skills. Anyone can request support from the CETs and they will be engaged with a peer within 24 hours.

CETs work with willing participants, their families and natural supports to connect persons suffering from a behavioral health disorder of any severity with voluntary services and referrals that lead to improved outcomes. Persons served by the program can be at any stage in the development or manifestation of behavioral health disorder and not actively violent.

“I am excited that the county is able to offer these services in our community. As a mental health therapist, I understand the value of these peer facilitated referrals to local resources. I look forward to seeing the results of this program,” says County Commission Chair Charlene Pyskoty.

The teams will receive client referrals from the community, identified crisis and warm lines, and local first responders and case management systems. The teams will create an individualized recovery-focused approach that promotes wellness, self-management, personal recovery, natural supports, coping skills, self-advocacy and the development of independent living skills.

Access to the community engagement teams is available 24/7 by calling 505-910-6357.

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