Bernalillo County jail Chief Ramon Rustin’s resignation took effect Monday. After three years as the head of the largest jail in New Mexico, Rustin stepped down saying he needed to meet family obligations.
KUNM spoke with Rustin in February about mental health care at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
Jail staff says MDC is the largest mental health provider in the state. Chief Rustin agreed. In fact, Rustin put that as No. 2 on the list of problems at the Bernalillo County lockup. So what's No. 1? Overcrowding, he said.
A new federal report ranks New Mexico as the state with the highest percentage of citizens with mental illness. But the 416-page survey also reveals states in the Southwest are above average in many areas like access to mental health services.
The purpose of the Behavioral Health 2012 report is to look at where states stand in relation to national averages. The hope is for policy makers to examine areas of the mental health system that need help.