By Cindy Foster

Mental Health Counseling Is Just a Phone Call Away in Sandoval County

These are challenging times for all of us. Speaking with a mental health professional can help - and it is possible to do so safely, without leaving your home.

The UNM Sandoval County Behavioral Health Clinic is providing telephone appointments during the current health care crisis, says clinic director Christopher Morris, PhD, associate professor in The UNM Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences.

"The demand for our services has remained steady - and we know there is a need for our services," Morris says.

"Research has shown that mental health therapy via phone can be an effective tool for treating a wide range of mental health issues," he says. "We know that many people are suffering during this crisis and we believe this can be another tool for us to use."

The clinic, which opened in 2019, serves adults and adolescents, age 13 and older, with counseling, psychotherapy and psychiatric medicine monitoring.

"Our counselors are trained in providing assistance to those suffering from both acute and chronic concerns," Morris says.

Patients can also access mental health therapists through the newly created NMConnect mobile app, which provides access to the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line (NMCAL), Morris says.

NMCAL has been in operation in New Mexico for more than seven years and has fielded more than 245,000 calls and 70,000 text messages. The app enables New Mexicans to connect directly to a counselor or peer support worker, according to Morris.

"People don't have to feel alone," he says. "It is possible to access professional help in this unprecedented time of crisis. We want to make sure the health care that people need is available to them during this time."

To arrange for an appointment or receive additional information, please call (505) 994-5050.

Here's how to download the NMCAL app: