Mental Health Collaborative Holds Third Neighborhood Outreach Session
May 10, 2014
Albuquerque- Today City of Albuquerque representatives including leadership of the Albuquerque Police Department and members of the Fire Department participated in the Northeast Heights “Creating Community Solutions” dialogue with community stakeholders, individuals and family members of those living with mental health issues as well as young people, advocates and service providers. The effort was initiated by Mayor Richard J. Berry in response to a call to action by the Obama Administration which is being coordinated at the local level by the City Department of Family and Community Services in partnership with Everyday Democracy. Albuquerque was one of the first cities to step up a year ago in response to the President’s invitation to local communities to get involved.
Today’s exchange of information between the 75 community participants was extremely productive in what was the third of a series of outreach efforts. The goal is to seek feedback from those most affected and create solutions and recommendations with the input of all stakeholders.
The community dialogues which are underway at the local level bring the discussion to each quadrant of the city as well as communities within the region. So far, they have been held in the Southeast and Northwest quadrant and future gatherings will take place in the Southwest area of Albuquerque as well as in Valencia and Sandoval counties. The leadership of the two public safety departments have participated, including the discussion today for which APD Chief Gorden Eden and members of his command staff were closely engaged. Members of the APD COAST team and CIT personnel were also present, as well as leadership from the Family and Community Services Department. In addition to Everyday Democracy, the “Creating Community Solutions” collaborative includes various stakeholders who volunteer their time to work on these important initiatives. Among others, participants include Samaritan Counseling Center, UNM, CNM and APS.
“We are proud to be one of the first cities in the nation to tackle this issue in coordination with the President’s initiative and are extremely pleased with the productive dialogues taking place in neighborhoods throughout the city which are focused on finding solutions to this very critical issue,” stated Mayor Berry.