July 24, 2020

NM Delegation Announces Over $1.8 Million in HHS Grants to Support Mental Health and Substance Abuse Prevention

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $1,892,826 in mental health and substance abuse prevention grants to the New Mexico State Department of Human Services, the National Center for Frontier Communities, the Carlsbad Community Anti-Drug/Gang Coalition, and the National Indian Youth Leadership Development Project. 

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, New Mexicans have been focused on slowing the spread of this virus. At the same time, we must continue to care for the whole health and well-being of New Mexicans throughout the state during this critical period,” said Udall, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “All New Mexicans should have access to resources that help prevent and reduce mental health challenges, especially during this pandemic.  Access to these resources is particularly important for Native and other young people of color in our rural communities, who have been disproportionately impacted and who rely on the services provided by the awarded programs. I will continue to fight for New Mexicans to increase support for critical services like these that are vital to the health and well-being of all our communities, especially the young people who represent New Mexico’s future.”

“Mental health services and substance abuse prevention programs should always be considered essential – especially during a global health crisis,” said Heinrich. “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented so many different challenges across New Mexico, and it is critical that we remember to provide at-risk individuals in underserved and tribal communities with the medical support they need. That is why I am proud to support these awards and will keep fighting for initiatives that promote both the physical and mental well-being of all New Mexicans.

“The fear and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on New Mexicans, especially those in rural, Hispanic, and Native communities. It’s crucial that young people can continue to rely on the leadership and capacity-building programs this funding sustains during the pandemic,” said Luján. “I was proud to vote for the CARES Act and the Heroes Act to bolster mental and public health resources, and I’ll continue fighting to support New Mexicans during this crisis.” 

New Mexicans are resilient and our families deserve access to the health services they need, but during this pandemic those struggling with mental health and substance abuse may need more support. As someone who knows the struggle addiction poses, I know how financial stress and limitations on the time spent with our communities compounds challenges for those in recovery and in need behavioral health support. This funding will provide the resources for access to critical services for oppressed communities who have felt a disproportionate impact from COVID-19,”said Haaland.

“Mental health and substance abuse, including the opioid crisis, has touched every community across New Mexico. It is critical that we support local organizations and treatment centers seeking to help those in need. It’s why I’m pleased that this latest round of funding from HHS is headed to some of the rural parts of my district, where more providers are still needed. I remain dedicated to fighting for more resources and ensuring constituents can receive the care they need, no matter where they live,” said Torres Small.  

The Carlsbad Community Anti-Drug/Gang Coalition aims to create a safe, healthy, and drug & gang/crime free environment through community mobilization efforts. The National Center for Frontier Communities gives a voice to frontier communities while raising awareness of frontier issues to policymakers, agencies, and the public. The National Indian Youth Leadership Development Project uses access to outdoor education programming for Native youth to help prevent and reduce substance abuse while promoting healthy Tribal communities.

A breakdown of the grants is below:

- New Mexico State Department of Human Services, New Mexico Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success 2020, $1,000,000
- National Center for Frontier Communities’ Frontier and Remote Prevention Coalition of New Mexico project, $297,261
- Carlsbad Community Anti-Drug/Gang Coalition’s Prevention in Motion Program, $300,000
- National Indian Youth Leadership Development Project (Project Venture), $295,565