LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -

Researchers at New Mexico State University are participating in a national pilot program aimed at addressing substance abuse, mental health and other behavioral health problems.
    
The researchers are focused on getting more accurate local data about the occurrence of behavioral health problems in communities like Dona Ana County.
    
The end goal is to provide resources for decision makers to better understand behavioral health concerns in their region.
    
Dona Ana County is one of 10 communities nationwide selected via a national competition and peer review process.
    
NMSU officials say the rates of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness and suicide are higher in New Mexico than the national average and good data is needed to begin addressing the problems.