Human Services Department announces Behavioral Health Day at New Mexico Legislature on January 25

Star Award Celebration will recognize behavioral health care professionals on January 24 

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) today announced the 18th Annual Behavioral Health Day at the New Mexico State Legislature. The New Mexico Behavioral Health Planning Council is sponsoring two days of events to recognize the need for improved behavioral health care and celebrate individuals for their hard work and dedication to their local communities. Behavioral Health Day activities will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Capitol Rotunda on Jan. 25, 2023. 

As many New Mexicans cope with the disabling effects of behavioral health disorders, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has recommended increased funding for behavioral health services in her FY 2024 budget. The budget recommendations include:  

  • $3.5M expansion of community-based behavioral health services for children,  
  • $2.7M increase for behavioral health services for children in custody,  
  • $1.2M increase in non-Medicaid behavioral health reimbursement rates from 85% to 100% of Medicaid, 
  • $6.6M increase for the 988 statewide crisis line, 
  • $6.5M for Behavioral health supports, 
  • Over $70M for the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute forensics facility. 

“Behavioral Health Day is a great way we can recognize the important work being done to improve the lives of many New Mexicans,” said David. R. Scrase, MD, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Human Services Department. “Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s budget recommendations mark the next steps toward providing better behavioral health services in New Mexico.” 

The Behavioral Health Star Award Celebration will be held on Jan. 24, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hilton Buffalo Thunder – Tewa Ballroom. The highlight of the 2023 Behavioral Health Award Celebration is the awards presentation. These individuals will be honored for their hard work and dedication to their local communities. 

2023 Behavioral Health Star Award Winners 

  • Albuquerque Community Safety Department – Albuquerque Metro Area/ Bernalillo County  
  • Barry Ore – The Four Corners Region 
  • Cathi Valdes – Statewide 
  • Janna Rae Vallo – Tribal communities in New Mexico  
  • Jess Spohn – Dona Ana County 
  • Jodie Jepson and Jennifer Martinez – Heading Home – Albuquerque Street Connect 
  • Lara Yoder – Santa Fe 
  • Lawrence A. Medina – Taos, Colfax, and San Miguel Counties 
  • Local Collaborative 18 – Eight Northern Indian Pueblos and surrounding Northern New Mexico communities 
  • Lee Roy L. Lucero, Licensed Master Social Worker – Albuquerque  
  • Liliana Spurgeon – Albuquerque  
  • Mary (Martinez) White – Las Cruces and Dona Ana County 
  • Michael Aguirre -Northeast NM Colfax, Taos, Union 
  • Patsy Romero – Santa Maria El Mirador 
  • Roman Sanchez, Child Protection Service Worker. Espanola and Taos 
  • Sindy Bolanos-Sacoman – New Mexico Tribal populations in McKinley County 
  • 2023 Carol Luna Anderson Award: Russel Liles  
  • 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award: Paul Tucker  
  • 2023 John Henry Award: Zachy – Service Dog (owner David Padilla) 

The Governor’s Proclamation for Behavioral Health Day can be found here and the 2023 Behavioral Health Star Award Celebration flyer can be found here


We talk, interpret and smile in all languages.  We provide written information to our customers in both English and Spanish and interpretation services are available in 58 languages through our provider, CTS Language Link. For our hearing, and speech impaired customers, we utilize Relay New Mexico, a free 24-hour service that ensures equal communication access via the telephone to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech disabled. 

The Human Services Department provides services and benefits to 1,076,746 New Mexicans through several programs including: the Medicaid Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Support Program, and several Behavioral Health Services.