Youth suicide rates drop slightly in New Mexico

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News from the Ministry of Health:

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) Division of Epidemiology and Response reports preliminary data showing a slight drop in the suicide rate in 2021 among young people ages 5 to 18 compared to to 2020.

It’s the start of what should be a long-term, collaborative effort with the New Mexico Department of Social Services (HSD) and community partners to address a national issue of suicide death rates, which exceed averages. national.

“Suicide prevention works. It requires a concerted effort of properly equipped people with training and resources. We need to stay focused on our ongoing efforts to fix New Mexico’s broken mental health system, said David R. Scrase, MD, secretary of the Department of Human Services and acting secretary of the Department of Health.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham proclaimed September as Suicide Prevention Month draw attention to suicide as a priority among New Mexico’s public health concerns.

Preliminary data for ages 5 to 18 comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a central source for nationwide suicide rates. Final 2021 numbers are expected mid to late fall this year.

Several factors have likely contributed to the decline in suicide rates among children, including:

  • Concerted statewide efforts to educate residents about mental health wellness, suicide risk awareness, and suicide prevention training by the Department of Health’s Office of Injury Prevention and the Office of School and Adolescent Health.
  • DOH oversight of the New Mexico Suicide Prevention Coalition, which meets four times a year to network, receive suicide data and trend updates, and share suicide prevention resources. This information is then fed back to the local communities.
  • The Coalition has an active Native American Task Force that advocates for services and resources for Native populations, including the Honoring Native Life program that provides culturally appropriate suicide prevention assistance to nations, tribes, and pueblos in New Mexico. .
  • Partnerships between the Department of Health, the New Mexico Access and Crisis Line, and the HSD Behavioral Health Services Division Behavioral Health Collaborative, which focused on suicide prevention among youth.
  • DOH-supported efforts by HSD’s Behavioral Health Services Division to establish 3-digit “988” dialing for mental health crises, part of a broader system change to improve care for residents of the New Mexico with mental, behavioral and substance use issues.
  • The DOH and HSD have also collaborated on suicide prevention task forces to secure funding for various suicide prevention-related projects under the New Mexico Suicide Prevention Coalition. For example, the faith communities working group of the coalition has developed a draft suicide prevention resource guide for faith communities with sections by faith leaders and for followers that is under review. This group received a small design and printing grant for review before publication and distribution to various religious affiliations.

Additionally, the coalition’s First Responders Task Force secured a grant from a state health care agency to provide statewide suicide prevention training to first responders in rural communities. Meanwhile, in Taos, the Veterans and Military Coalition Task Force also secured a grant to support veterans in their community.

The DOH continues its efforts to partner and collaborate with governmental and nongovernmental agencies to reduce the suicide rate in New Mexico among all ages and population groups, recognizing that it will take years to reduce suicide rates. suicide at all ages.

While youth suicide rates appear to be on a downward trend, preliminary data on adult suicide rates in 2021 show an increase from 2020. The extent to which the small increase in adult suicide rates in the New -Mexico 18+ in 2021 vs. 2020 reflects various emotional, physical, and financial costs associated with the pandemic are unclear.

Suicide can be prevented in several ways, including:

  • People with suicidal thoughts feel relief after someone talks to them in a caring way.
  • People are more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more optimistic after talking with someone who listens without judgment.
  • Acknowledging and talking about suicide can reduce rather than increase ideation.

If you know someone in crisis, call or text 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 (para ayuda en Español, llame al 988). You can also contact the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). Both services offer 24-hour confidential support to anyone in a suicidal crisis or in emotional distress. Contact social media directly if you’re concerned about a friend’s social media updates or dial 911 in an emergency.

United States Crisis Line for Veterans – operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs – connects service members and veterans in crisis, as well as their family members and friends, with trained responders through a confidential toll-free phone line, an online chat or text messaging service. Dial 1.800.273.8255 and press 1 to talk to someone or text 838255 to connect with a VA answering machine. You can also start a confidential online chat session on Veterans crisis chat.

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