El Paso Behavioral Health Consortium

In 2015, the El Paso Behavioral Health Consortium formed out of Healthy Paso Del Norte to serve Far West TX, Southern NM, and Cuidad Jua’rez. The Consortium empowers and unifies regional partners towards an idealized behavioral health service system focused on family, integration, and justice.

What factors are essential for effective cross-sector alignment?

Shared Purpose

  • Community organizations coalesced around “complex topic of mental health and substance use”, described as “collective impact informed approach”
  • The coalition leadership team established a definition of the “ideal behavioral health system” and are committed to ongoing collaboration
  • Coalition members took 10 months to conduct a system assessment for the community used to determine priorities. The approach was to “look for existing groups” to collaborate
  • Nearly 90.0% of partners surveyed indicated the coalition has a shared purpose with a set of priorities


  • The Consortium Leadership Councils include key stakeholders with influence on priority areas identified by the El Paso Behavioral Health System Assessment
  • Each Leadership Council is chaired by a Consortium Executive Committee member. Each council engages existing community action groups 
  • Paso del Norte Health Foundation and Empower Change Center provide backbone support while Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute provides evaluation 


  • Coalition uses external data to compare to other communities
  • Website is set up for public health datasets, community resources, coalition meeting notes/action plans

Finance and Sustainability

  • In 2017, state and federal level legislation resulted in funding opportunities that were well aligned with regional Consortia informed actions (SB1, SB292, HB13). These resulted in funds coming from SAMSHA, HHSC, and other similar organizations
  • Grants are primary funding source, but coalition recognizes need for reimbursement models for long-term sustainability
  • If programs seen as essential to community, funds are available

Integration of Health Equity

  • El Paso Behavioral Health Consortium defines health equity as the availability of services when needed and is committed to a collaboration where all partners are welcome, empowered, and unified to achieve an ideal behavioral health service system
  • Almost 50.0% of partners surveyed believe that health equity is operationalized across the shared vision, governance, and community engagement activities of the coalition 

Community Trust and Accountability

  • El Paso meets people where they are and listens to identify group interests between them
  • Annual progress reports are presented to the community and external evaluations of the coalition are made publicly available
  • Nearly 90.0% of coalition partners surveyed reported that their organization was involved in community engagement and trust building activities 

Measures of Success

  • Measures of success include people trained in specific modalities; number of new crisis intervention teams; and overall cultural shifts

Outcomes Achieved

  • El Paso Behavioral Health Consortium has led a cultural shift from competition to genuine collaboration over a five-year period
  • They’ve also held a mental health first aid training and supported food distribution programs