Southern New Mexico’s fragile behavioral health system has taken many hits in recent years and doesn’t meet the region’s needs, according to a series of reports by NMPolitics.net in collaboration with the Las Cruces Sun-News and KRWG News. Law enforcement is increasingly tasked with handling crises they can’t fix, data shows. Policymakers have taken some steps to help, but progress has been slow. The news collaboration set out to investigate the problem, tell the stories of people the system impacts, and explore possible solutions — including implementing new law enforcement programs, creating a mental health court and expanding the state psychiatric hospital to the region.
In photo by Robin Zielinski for NMPolitics.net, balloons and a cupcake festoon a cross on the Lohman Avenue bridge, where Juan Gabriel Torres was shot to death by police.