No immediate solution to endangered Crisis Triage Center


Doña Ana County’s Crisis Triage Center is on track to close at the end of the month when its service provider withdraws, and at the county commissioners’ meeting on Jan. 23, no immediate solution was found.

The meeting did feature an hour-long conversation during public comment. Commissioners, CTC staff, public defenders and a few CTC clients spoke about the need for a fully operational center. Some suggested that a new facility like this one, with a new provider, should be advertised better. Others suggested that the CTC should focus on more groups in the community.

But most of the meeting was attended by speakers discussing their experiences working or using the CTC.

One such speaker was 24-year-old Libby Cattey, a current user of the CTC. For Cattey, the center has been nothing short of life-changing since she moved to Las Cruces from the Albuquerque area.

“I don’t even really know how I got here,” Cattey said. “I was just really lost and kind of drowning.”

Cattey currently faces pending criminal charges stemming from an incident on Jan. 9. The case remains ongoing, but her arrest led her to the CTC.

“Just in a couple of weeks, I’ve been able to find light and direction,” she told the commissioners during public comment. The center offered Cattey a place to sleep for a night or two, a place to stay warm, a place to be safe and a place to use a phone and stay in contact with her lawyer.

“I’m going to work to find a new provider and make sure that it (CTC) is reopened as soon as possible,”

Jamie Michael, the county Health and Human Services Department director, told the commissioners that

the county was trying to work with other area mental health providers to meet some of the needs.


The future of the county’s Crisis Triage Center is in question after RI International, the private firm providing behavioral health treatment and crisis intervention, said they’d vacate operations by Jan. 31.

The announcement followed the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners’ vote Jan. 9, by 3-2, to deny the Arizona-based firm operating the CTC and similar centers across the U.S. a $561,902 grant from the New Mexico Behavioral Health Services Department.

The grant would have covered a gap between RI’s expenses and revenue and allowed the CTC to remain open through July 2024.

Las Cruces, Dona Ana County, Crisis Triage Center, mental health, behavioral health