The Health Care Authority’s mission is: We ensure that New Mexicans attain their highest level of health by providing whole-person, cost-effective, accessible, and high-quality health care and safety-net services.

Positive Behavioral Supports

Positive Behavior refers to the skills a person has (or may learn) that increase the likelihood of him or her being satisfied and successful in all life areas. Positive Behavior Support (PBS) refers to the skills that those supporting a person have (or may learn) to expand and enhance the person’s opportunities for mutual satisfaction and success.

The combined positive approaches informs all aspects of support for the person with the intention of enhancing their quality of life. This approach is based on supporting the person to:

  • Explore and pursue an enjoyable and meaningful life. (by their definition!)
  • Be as independent as possible.
  • Recover from trauma.
  • Define and pursue life outcomes of their choosing (with assistance as needed).
  • Learn and practice alternative means for expressing displeasure, pain, or other communicative intent.

To assist, professionals using the PBS framework:

  • Seek to understand each person’s behavior from a functional perspective.
  • Equip those that support the person to teach, model, encourage, and reinforce desirable behavior, working to enhance a person’s functional and relational skills.
  • Design and teach staff to use effective prevention and intervention strategies when challenging behavior occurs.

Behavioral Support Consultation

Behavioral Support Consultation (BSC) is intended to enhance the Developmental Disabilities Waiver (DDW) participant’s quality of life by providing positive behavioral supports as the individual works on functional and relational skills. BSC services identify distracting, disruptive, and/or destructive behavior that impact quality of life; and provide specific prevention and intervention strategies to manage and lessen the risks these behaviors present. BSC services do not include individual or group therapy, or any other mental health or behavioral health services that would typically be provided through the Medicaid state plan benefits.

Please see Chapter 3 of the Developmental Disabilities Waiver Service Standards for more information regarding this DDW service.

Accessing Positive Behavior Supports

We at the Bureau of Behavioral Support believe that quality of life is determined by personal, physical, and emotional wellbeing; pleasurable relationships; meaningful learning, work and leisure activities; self-determination; choices; and community access and inclusion leading to perceived valued roles in the community.

BBS is a statewide unit that works together with individuals with IDD that have behavioral challenges (and those that support them), who are eligible for/are receiving supports through DDSD’s State General Fund (SGF) programs or the Developmental Disabilities Waiver (DDW). BBS offers technical assistance, clinical support, and training on a range of behavioral topics.


BBS offers technical assistance and Behavioral Supports Training on a variety of topics including positive behavioral, crisis and sexuality supports, community inclusion, human rights, and dignity of risk.