New initiative offers support for children, families with trauma

Morgan Aguilar
June 27, 2017 05:34 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Bernalillo County’s Behavioral Health Initiative is dedicating about $6 million over two years to reducing "Adverse Childhood Experiences." The pilot program, called "ACEs" for short, will help fund eight providers that offer support to children and families experiencing trauma.


"The horribly disturbing case of Victoria Martens and other cases involving children played a major role in forming this legislation," Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson said.

The program will help anyone from birth to age 18 who has experienced any negative life-changing event from things like abuse and neglect, to seeing a loved one arrested.

"We must take care of the children in our community," Johnson said. "With the creation of ‘ACEs,’ we are providing another level of services and tools for helping our youth and their families."

Growing up, Frankie Duran-Lopez watched her father battle alcoholism. She ended up in the juvenile justice system, and would later be incarcerated while pregnant.

"I never knew that those occurrences in my childhood would lead me to stand out," Duran-Lopez said. "It led me to say that I would fail in school."

She said the approval of "ACEs" shows that elected leaders are listening. The nearly $6 million will be distributed over the next two years.


Morgan Aguilar

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