- Associated Press - Friday, October 28, 2016

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Mental health advocates are set to unveil new initiatives aimed at tackling southern New Mexico’s mental health issues.

Lawyers, medical officials and activists are scheduled Nov. 3 to define their specific policies and priorities during a Domenici Institute Forum at the New Mexico State University.

The group is part of the Dona Ana Wellness Institute and the Stepping Up Partnership formed to help the behavioral health and criminal justice systems to work together in southern New Mexico.

The partnership also seeks to help people living with mental illnesses stay out of jail and recover while avoiding incarceration.

It comes as New Mexico recently improved fourteen spots - from 36 to 22 - in Mental Health America’s annual rankings.

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