Group protests mental healthcare takeover

Group protests mental healthcare takeover

POSTED: Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 9:46pm

UPDATED: Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 9:49pm

Demonstrators lined up across the street from the Las Cruces Convention Center where Governor Susana Martinez was scheduled to speak as a part of the Domenici Conference.

About three dozen demonstrators carried signs protesting the way the mental healthcare takeover was handled in New Mexico.

"Let New Mexican's take care of their own behavioral health needs and let there be due process," said Krista Scorsone, a former provider at Southwest Counseling Center.

Earlier this year the state cut funding to 15 mental healthcare providers after an audit found evidence of possible fraud of $36 million.

The facilities were then transitioned over to Arizona companies to manage.

Protestors took issue with the audit being sealed by the attorney general and the CEOs of the 15 companies were not given the opportunity to defend themselves.

"This is the United States of America what crimes have been committed and what evidence is there," Scorsone said.

Employees at Southwest Counseling Center now managed by La Frontera say there are still issues with patients receiving medications.

The protestors also took issue with new management trying to make patients more independent by having them ride the bus for treatments.

In her speech at the convention center, Martinez did not address the protestors or the mental healthcare transition.

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