New Mexico offers new COVID-19 crisis line

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SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Mexico Human Services Department (NMHSD) is offering another free crisis line called the Cope with COVID-19 Crisis Counseling Program.

The program is available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The number to call is (505) 954-1057.

Dr. Neal Bowen, the director of the Behavioral Health Services Division with NMHSD, said mental health is crucial.

"We are seeing the cost of the pandemic in the mental health field in general. We’re seeing elevated rates in anxiety, elevated rates of depression, and more expression of other kinds of difficulties including trauma reactions,” he said.

Dr. Bowen said the crisis line specifically focused on the mental health effects from the pandemic is a frontline intervention.

"You’re gonna get people who have been there. These are certified peer-support specialists. That means they have lived experiences of behavioral health challenges and achieved meaningful recovery and gotten specific training,” he explained.

The program is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through at least the end of the year.