Our History

Desert Hills of New Mexico provides a full continuum of behavioral health services for children and adolescents ages 5 to 21 who have been struggling with substance abuse and mental health disorders.

Desert Hills opened in 1990 with 6 hospital beds, 40 residential treatment (RTC) beds, and an 8-bed Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). In 1994 we increased the PHP program to 24 desks and opened a “lower-level” 36-bed RTC (non-medical model). In 1995 Desert Hills opened the first state-certified Behavior Management Services (BMS) Program, a community-based program working within the client’s family, home or school setting. In the same year, Desert Hills formed a separate not-for-profit corporation, Familyworks, Inc. and started a Treatment Foster Care program. In 1996 the PHP program was converted to a Day Treatment Program.

Presently, the RTC Units have been converted to specialized units: a 17-bed Dual Diagnosis Unit (substance abuse and mental health), a 14 bed Sexually Maladaptive Behavior Unit, a 20-bed young child (ages 5-11) Unit and a 20 bed MR/DD Unit. Desert Hills also operates a 60 desk Day Treatment Program, a Behavior Management Services Program and a Comprehensive Community Support Services Program.

Desert Hills has a comprehensive educational program 12 months a year. During the regular school year, the clients attend a specialized charter school that resides on the Desert Hills campus. During the breaks, the students are taught by APS teachers through Desert Hills North Central Accredited private school.

Desert Hills has a high and low ropes course that is utilized to offer activity therapy to the clients as a therapeutic tool to build self-esteem and trust.

Recovery Really Is Possible

I was really struggling emotionally, but now I have a new outlook on life.

– Amber S.