As this deeply sorrowful year winds down, all of us at Taos Behavioral Health (TBH) know that for ourselves, for our clients, for our community, sharing positive thoughts is critical for sustaining our lives. We have much to grieve but we also have an abundance of gifts to celebrate.
Here at TBH we have been honored to receive gifts of funding, collaboration, and visioning from many organizations in our community. And we wish to say—these gifts have been received because of the caring and commitment of specific individuals in those organizations who have worked with us to make new things happen. It is individual people who change the world.
The Lor Foundation, which prides itself on understanding the needs of Taos, funded TBH to create a new Tiered Program in the schools to work with a broad spectrum of students who need behavioral health skills but are not currently receiving clinical services. In this model we have increased the knowledge of all students about mental health and identified individuals who need more intensive support.
Once the Lor Foundation provided funding, the Taos County Commissioners offered more funding to initiate summer programing using the Tiered Model. The Commissioners have listened to our description of needs and been a willing partner in planning.
The Keeler Foundation has provided consistent funding to sustain the Nurturing Centers supporting families in Taos and Penasco. They have also been instrumental in funding for our “Keep the Lights On” account to support emergency family needs. Most recently they have offered funding for a new “Sparkle Fund” which will provide funds for youth from low-income families to participate in extracurricular activities.
The Taos Education Collaborative is a group of educators who provide in-kind donations to support local needs. One great example of their work is funding to start a new Bi-Lingual program for youth and parents in TBH.
The Taos Community Foundation has supported us over the years with grants for specific programs and just recently will be collaborating with us to fund housing in motels and hotels for homeless families in the cold weather.
We appreciate the gifts of money to realize many of our plans, but we also cherish the gifts of action—of collaboration—of partnerships that
make it possible to serve the community’s true needs. At the top of this list is our deep appreciation for the relationship we have with school districts: Taos Municipal Schools, Penasco Independent School District, Questa Independent School District. With them we have Memoranda of Agreements that we can work together for the development of all students.
Key to action are the relationships we enjoy with individual schools: Taos Academy, Taos International School, Roots and Wings Charter School, Anasazi Charter School, Vista Grande High School, and Christian Academy. In these school settings, our work is facilitated by administrators and staff who support the processes for referrals students needing intervention. And crucial to that work is their designation of spaces where students know there is a safe place and we can do our work. Where it is necessary to rent those spaces, we appreciate the reduced fees that schools charge.
Special support from our business community
To support family needs for transportation to appointments and facilitate field trips for our clients we rent SUV’s and vans. Enterprise Rentals has worked with us to provide needed vehicles and keep them maintained—at a reduced fee. When we have needed supplies and services from other business owners in town, many of them have given us reduced rates as their support to the community.
Whole community appreciation
Especially in this year when responsive creativity was needed again and again to maintain services to our clients, we deeply appreciate the communities in northern New Mexico who expressed trust in us. They reached out to identify needs and asked us to partner with them. Together we have been able to work hard, listen to our clients, and see the community come together to answer needs. Thank you all for that gift.
TBH has the largest behavioral health staff in northern New Mexico and can be reached at www/taosbehavioralhealth.org, 575-758-4297 or for scheduled appointments at 105 Bertha St. in Taos.
Mary McPhail Gray, Ph.D. is the Board Co-chair of TBH and can be reached at 575-779-3126 or firstname.lastname@example.org