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NMSU professor receives grant to increase mental health, substance and opioid abuse services

  • By Adriana M. Chávez
  • 575-646-1957
  • Sep 26, 2019
Head and shoulders of a woman

Eve Adams, New Mexico State University Regents professor and co-interim head of the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology in the College of Education, has received a $906,000 grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to help increase and improve behavioral health services along the U.S.-Mexico border, including services focused on substance and opioid-use disorders.

Adams has received funding for the project for the past 14 years. The additional funding will help Adams continue the project for another three years and expand to include services for substance and opioid-use disorders in areas in need.

“This training grant will allow our Counseling Psychology program to be on the cutting edge of health service psychology training,” Adams said. “By helping our students and our faculty become more proficient in addressing the opioid crisis through team-based care, we are elevating our training and our outreach efforts in the community.”

Adams said counseling psychology doctoral students will learn how to work in interprofessional teams with family medicine and pharmacy residents, nursing doctoral students and masters students in public health, social work and counseling in order to provide “culturally and linguistically competent, integrated, trauma-informed, interdisciplinary team-based care” in behavioral health and substance and opioid-use disorders. A total of 34 students will be involved in the project.

As part of the project, trainees will engage in a 24-hour “interprofessional immersion” experience, which allows them to utilize a trauma-informed, team-based approach to provide substance and opioid-use disorder services to simulated patients commonly seen in primary care settings.

All trainees will provide services in Doña Ana or Luna counties, which are areas in which there is a shortage of health and mental health providers, and bilingual trainees will provide services in Spanish with bilingual supervision. Trainees can also elect to take a mindfulness class in order to enhance their understanding of how mindfulness can be used to prevent and treat substance and opioid-use disorders.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, and in 2014 there were more than 14,000 deaths involving prescription opioids.

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