SANTA FE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) — Leaders from around New Mexico are expected to gather starting Monday for a summit regarding how communities and courts can improve how they respond to people with mental illnesses.

According to a news release from the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts, leaders expected to participate in the summit include court leaders and other county-based teams, along with law enforcement and providers of behavioral health services. They will help develop priorities for “better assisting people with behavioral health needs who become involved with the justice system.”

“The behavioral health summit will allow stakeholders in our communities and courts to learn about strategies on the national and local level that can be collaboratively implemented to improve outcomes for individuals with mental health issues,” New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon said in the release. “Proper intervention can help individuals who otherwise may repeatedly end up in court and in jail because they are experiencing a behavioral health crisis.”

The summit, which is expected to end Wednesday, will use the “Sequential Intercept Model” to help catalog locally available resources, identify gaps in services and establish priorities for implementing responses. At the end of the summit, facilitators will then hear from teams from each county across the state regarding their respective action plans.

“Teams from New Mexico’s counties will develop local plans with priorities that meet the
unique needs of their communities for addressing the behavioral health issues of people at
various points in the justice system – from initial law enforcement encounters to courts, jails and
release from detention,” New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Briana H. Zamora said in the release.

For more information, visit the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts’ website.