LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – The Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology at New Mexico State University received a nearly $1 million grant to provide training for students studying clinical mental health counseling and school psychology.

The grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration will help meet the needs of vulnerable and underserved children, teens and young adults in southern New Mexico by increasing the number of trainees in behavioral health services provided in underserved and rural communities, according to a news release from NMSU.

“Grants such as these are critical to addressing the shortages in the behavioral health workforce, especially those who serve our more vulnerable communities, our young people, who are experiencing a crisis in mental health,” said Elsa Arroyos, interim head of the NMSU Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology and the grant’s co-principal investigator.

The project also seeks to provide field placements and career development opportunities that assist with behavioral workforce development to address critical shortages, according to the news release. “We are excited about this new opportunity to provide additional support to students committed to serving our communities,” Anna Lopez, an associate professor in the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department and the grant’s principal investigator. “I am especially grateful for the additional support that will be provided to our bilingual counseling trainees as they are often required to complete additional training with no extra support. We are hoping to change that.”

For more information about the NMSU Counseling and Educational Psychology department, visit