In 2020, CYFD and PullTogether launched Reach NM, the country’s first-ever text-based reporting system for youth to reach out directly to the department. Leticia Salinas, Statewide Central Intake Regional Office Manager, discusses how this system works.
The idea for Reach NM came from the governor’s office after one of her senior staff got a text message from a teen in the middle of the night. He was able to provide the teen with services the following morning. As a result, children now have 24/7 access to vetted resources and services.
Reach NM can be texted 24/7 at 505-591-9444, and young people are invited to reach out for help ranging from getting connected to education, food, medical and behavioral health supports, connection to other resources in the community, and to make official reports of suspected abuse or neglect, either about their own situation or raise concerns about a friend or family member. Text advocates are always standing by to provide support in a means of communication most comfortable to people in the youth community.
Advocates are trained in suicide emergency first aid, emotional support, or just be a connection to resources. Advocates can set follow-ups with texts to make sure whoever contacted them was able to get the support they needed.