The mission of OSAH is to improve the health of all students and adolescents in New Mexico.

OSAH provides resources and technical assistance to educational staff, physical and behavioral health professionals, and community members who are involved with children and youth to help them develop sustainable health systems for children and youth in schools and communities.

1. NW

School Health Advocate
leslie.berry@state.nm.us
(505) 863-4561
School Mental Health Advocate
twila.becenti-fundark@state.nm.us
(505) 566-0515

4. SE

2. NE

School Health Advocate
Susan Acosta (temp)
(505) 476-2653
School Mental Health Advocate
BH Team (temp)

5. SW

School Health Advocate
crista.pierce@state.nm.us
(575) 841-6016
School Mental Health Advocate
BH Team (temp)

3. METRO

School Health Advocate
barbaral.wheeler@state.nm.us
(505) 841-4129
School Mental Health Advocate
BH Team (temp)

Statewide Staff

Director james.farmer@state.nm.us
(505) 222-8682

Behavioral Health Consultant shayana.klassen@state.nm.us
(505) 222-8683

Adolescent Health Coordinator tessa.medina-lucero@state.nm.us
(505) 222-8681

Garrett Lee Smith Grant Manager alina.potrzebowski@state.nm.us

School Health Consultant susan.acosta@state.nm.us
(505) 222-8680

SBHC Clinical Operations Manager kristin.oreskovich@state.nm.us
(505) 841-5876

Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator
(505) 222-8605

Program Goals

  • Support integrated health care services to school-aged youth through SBHCs.
  • Support statewide school nursing and school behavioral health.
  • Promote Positive Youth Development and youth resiliency.
  • Reduce the incidence of youth suicide.

Partnerships

Partnership to assist NM schools with enhancing school health services, safety plans, and grant support administered by NM PED.

Collaborate to provide advanced clinical training for behavioral health providers, build community coalitions to support behavioral health and clinical assistance in supporting school nursing.

Partnership to train all Juvenile Justice Services staff in suicide prevention, and implement preventative case management services.

Adolescent Behavioral Health and Suicide Prevention Program Responsibilities

  • Promoting capacity building and sustainability of behavioral health services and early intervention programs in schools and youth serving organizations.
  • Training schools and youth serving organizations in evidence based programs, such as: PREPaRE curriculum in school crisis prevention and intervention, Question Persuade Refer Gatekeeper for suicide prevention, CPI Nonviolent Crisis Intervention techniques, Counseling on Access to Lethal Means, Youth Mental Health First Aid, and Teen Mental Heath First Aid.
  • Alliance building for schools and youth serving organizations to coordinate care with community mental health organizations and providers.
  • Providing advanced training for medical and behavioral health providers on screening, early intervention, resiliency, referral, and follow-up.
  • Facilitating community partnerships to support awareness, decrease stigma, and enhance behavioral health services statewide.
  • Providing technical assistance for implementation and expansion of evidence-based behavioral health programs.

Contact: shayna.klassen@state.nm.us

Other Initiatives

  • 48 OSAH funded SBHCs provide quality, integrated, and culturally responsive health care delivered in a youth friendly setting to keep children and adolescents in school and ready to learn.
  • OSAH funded SBHCs provide accessible services regardless of insurance status or ability to pay and in alignment with New Mexico statues for minor’s rights for receipt of health care services.
  • OSAH funded SBHCs utilize a coordinated care model with school and health systems.
  • Nearly 40% of visits to NM SBHCs are for behavioral health services; eliminating barriers to this important service.
  • 88% of OSAH funded SBHCs are operated by Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) or large medical groups, linking students and families to medical homes and improving continuity of care.
  • 18,319 students received 51,106 visits for primary care, behavioral health and oral health services during FY19.
  • All OSAH supported SBHCs are in Health Professional Shortage Areas.
Contact: kristin.oreskovich@state.nm.us
  • NM School Health Manual - a vital web-based guidance manual to assist school health personnel in providing a coordinated school health program that receives 5,000 visits per year.
  • The Annual School Health Services Report, a snapshot of health services provided by NM school nurses, is coordinated and maintained by OSAH. Statewide data is linked into the National Data Set allowing NM school health to be represented.
  • We collaborate with public health regions and Regional Health Officers to provide statewide training and technical assistance for approximately 500 school nurses, 450 health assistants, and 1,000+ school counselors and social workers.
  • The trained workforce provides school health services for 310,000+ students at 800 campuses, including provision of chronic disease management and coordination for 6,800+ students who require medically complex procedures for chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and complex seizure disorders.

Contact: susan.acosta@state.nm.us

An approach which facilitates a paradigm shift from viewing youth as future citizens to viewing them as today’s leaders with the capacity to effect change when given adequate support and opportunities. PYD Guiding Principals:
  • Asset Based (focus on strengths)
  • Place-Based (reflect local culture)
  • Holistic (mind/body/spirit) & Developmentally Age Appropriate
  • Informed by Youth (Youth Voice)
  • Supports ALL children/youth
  • Broad Stakeholder Input & Support (family, school, community, media, etc.)
NM Youth Peer to Peer Helper Program
  • There are 40 Youth Peer-to-Peer Programs statewide.
  • Adapted from the promising practice Natural Helper Program & evidence based PYD approach.
  • Based on the premise that when young people have problems, they most often turn to trusted friends for help and that within every school a “helping network” already exists in various student subgroups.
  • Young people are identified by peers and adults as “helpers” and receive training and support to recognize when a peer needs help, improve their communication, listening, and problem solving skills, become aware of when a situation is more serious and needs adult professional intervention.
  • Each program plans and implements one service learning & one health promotion project.
Contact: tessa.medina-lucero@state.nm.us