Local behavioral health summit addresses homelessness, crime

Local behavioral health summit addresses homelessness, crime

This morning, Attorney General Raúl Torrez hosted a summit, gathering some of the state's top behavioral health experts.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Attorney General Raúl Torrez hosted a summit Friday morning, gathering some of the state’s top behavioral health experts.

“There is no shortcut to what is a generational challenge,” Torrez said. “There is no silver bullet when it comes to dealing with our public safety challenges. And so, the first step, believe it or not, is to stop and listen to the people who are doing the work on the front lines,” he said.

The goal of the summit was to talk about how to prevent childhood trauma, or treat it more effectively. Behavioral health experts said there are 10 forms of neglect and abuse, and most kids in New Mexico suffer from one or more.

They said the lack of resources in the state contributes to children suffering from abuse and neglect. Torrez said it’s a common factor in cases that come across his desk.

“We are always provided with effectively a biography of an offender’s life. And that biography is almost always the same. It’s a biography that includes coming from a household that has physical abuse or neglect,” he said.

Torrez also says that findings from this summit and a recent law enforcement summit will inform how his office will prepare for the next legislative session.

“We will distill it down to a series of recommendations for the governor and the legislature to consider as part of a framework for a broad public safety package,” Torrez said.