CLOVIS, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) – On Wednesday at 11 a.m. MDT, multiple county and city groups will meet with Initium Health in Clovis to discuss possible locations for a proposed Behavioral Health Facility, according to a joint press release from regional officials.
According to the announcement, the City Councils and Commissions of Clovis, Fort Sumner and Portales will join with County Commissions from Curry, De Baca, Quay, Roosevelt and Union counties for the Wednesday meeting. Officials will take a tour of the HOPE Children’s Center in Clovis with Initium Health before hosting a lunch meeting to discuss possible facility locations.
As noted by officials, the proposed Behavioral Health Facility would span 65,000 square feet and hold 48 beds, and be led by James Corbett, M.Div., J.D., Principal with Initium Health. Initium Health is described on its website as a public benefit corporation focused on behavioral health, which conducted a feasibility study for establishing a facility in the region in 2022.
This meeting comes after the State of New Mexico put forward $10 million toward the construction of the $38 million proposed facility, said regional officials.
The US Department of Health & Human Services recorded that in the High Plains region currently, there were only six behavioral health facilities that accept Medicaid within 100 miles of Quay County. Further, there were only seven facilities within 100 miles of Quay County that either accept Medicaid, serve adult patients, or offer telehealth services. As of 2023, there were no facilities in that area offering residential services, and the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic in Las Cruces was the only one in the entire state.
Independent federal investigators reported in 2019 that improving access to behavioral health care in New Mexico was essential. While it was reported to have among the highest rates in the US for suicide and overdose deaths, more than half of adults in need of behavioral health care in New Mexico were not receiving treatment.
In ongoing efforts by state and local officials to improve access, there have been studies such as the 2022 Initium Health feasibility study as well as other events and initiatives aimed at developing strategies and priorities. These have included a state-issued grant for mental and behavioral health at Clovis Community College, as well as a mental illness response summit in 2022.