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Raton loses mental health services

Valle del Sol to close July 30

by Sharon Niederman
RATON —  At a time when the pandemic has increased the need for mental health services, New Mexico is losing one of its key providers.

Due to revenue losses of $1.5 million due to COVID-19 shutdowns, Valle del Sol is closing its nine rural clinics, disrupting the care of 1,500 patients and eliminating 70 jobs.

In Raton, 175 patients will be left to find new providers when Valle del Sol closes July 30, 2021. In addition to outpatient mental health counseling, the organization provides outpatient drug and alcohol counseling. In general, clients are referred though insurance and word of mouth.  In general, Medicaid pays for these services.
Chief development officer Angela Florez says her organization is working with the Behavioral Health Services Division of New Mexico Human Services and mental health providers such as Presbyterian Medical Services and New Mexico Solutions to transition patients to other resources.
“We want to be sure to do right by New Mexico,” says Florez.

Founded in 1970 and chiefly serving the Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona area, Valle del Sol was brought into New Mexico in 2013 by the administration of Gov. Susanna Martinez, along with several other Arizona agencies, when the Martinez administration accused established local mental health agencies of Medicaid fraud.
Subsequently, all those accused were exonerated. Of the five Arizona agencies assigned to care for New Mexicans, four, including Valle del Sol, have now left the state.

“We’re grateful to have been of service,” said Florez.