Building Capacity to Support Behavioral Health in New Mexico

PI: Megan Griffin, Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education

Co PI: Susan Copeland, Professor, Department of Special Education

Total Award: $10,000
Project Period: 1/1/17 to 12/31/17

Dr. Griffin

Dr. Megan Griffin

Dr. Copeland

Dr. Susan Copeland

The goal of our Technical Assistance Grant funded by the Con Alma Health Foundation is to build the capacity of New Mexico’s nonprofit sector related to supporting behavioral health among individuals with disabilities. New Mexico has a longstanding and extreme shortage of professionals trained in behavioral assessment and intervention. There are over 200 behavioral support consultation providers in New Mexico. These providers include staff with drastically varying levels of training in evidence-based strategies for providing behavior support. Currently, only 48 state residents are Board Certified Behavior Analysts, the nationally recognized certification in this field. This small number of professionals cannot possibly address the behavior support needs of children with disabilities across the state, which include 2,477 children with autism spectrum disorders; 4,660 children with developmental delay; 1,920 children with emotional/ behavioral disorders; and 1,994 children with intellectual disability. In addition to having a disability, children from minority backgrounds are more likely to experience these negative outcomes. Thus, children with disabilities in New Mexico are uniquely vulnerable, with many needing extensive behavioral support that is provided in a culturally appropriate manner.

Through this grant, we will provide community training related to behavioral supports. We will collaborate with a community nonprofit organization that serves families of children with disabilities, and get input related to making the trainings family-friendly and responsive to the cultural diversity of families in New Mexico. 

This project will offer quarterly trainings on behavioral support strategies for attendees, including families of children with disabilities, early intervention support staff, behavior support consultants, and administrators from non-profits across the state. Our hope is to build the capacity of families and service providers through the trainings funded by Con Alma.

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