Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation to help people with mental health problems receive evaluations and assistance in New Mexico.
The measure expands the professionals who can trigger an emergency mental health evaluation by certifying that a person poses a likelihood of serious harm to themselves or others because of a mental disorder.
Clinical mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, clinical nurses with a mental health specialty and certified nurse practitioners could make those decisions under the new law.
Currently only a physician or a clinical psychologist can make the determination, which allows law enforcement to take someone into custody and transport them to a medical facility for evaluation.
The governor said Tuesday the new law will benefit rural communities where physicians or psychologists may not be readily available.