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In 2016, suicide was the second leading cause of death by age group for persons 15-44 years of age.


April 27, 2018


Suicidal behaviors are a serious public health problem and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in New Mexico. In 2016, suicide was the ninth leading cause of death in NM and the second leading cause of death by age group for persons 15-44 years of age.

Suicide deaths have been increasing in both New Mexico and the United States, with suicide death rates in NM at least 50% higher than U.S. rates over the past 20 years.

Mental disorders, particularly clinical depression, increase the risk for both attempted suicide and suicide. Other risk factors associated with suicide include a previous suicide attempt, alcohol and substance abuse, a family history of suicide, a history of child maltreatment, feelings of hopelessness, isolation, barriers to mental health treatment, loss (of relationships, social connections, work, finances), physical illness, and easy access to lethal meth- ods, such as firearms.

The U.S. Suicide Rate according to the NM-IBIS hovers around 12.3 per 100,000. New Mexico’s rate clocks in at 20.3 per 100,000. In our little corner of paradise scores poorly; Aztec (29.80), Bloomfield (16.30),, and Farmington (34.10), per 100,000. This data is from NM-IBIS system, Circa 2011 and is age adjusted to match up with standard US populations.

Suicide causes immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. On average, 122 Americans die by suicide each day. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds and more than 9.4 million adults in the United States had serious thoughts of suicide within the past 12 months. But suicide is preventable, so it’s important to know what to do. For more information, go to http://www.sprc. org.


If someone you know is showing one or more of the following behaviors, he or she may be thinking about suicide. Don’t ignore these warning signs. Get help immediately.

• Talking about wanting to die

• Talking about wanting to kill oneself

• Looking for a way to kill oneself

• Talking about feeling hopeless

• Talking about having no reason to live • Talking about feeling trapped

• Talking about unbearable pain

• Talking about being a burden to others • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs • Acting anxious or agitated

• Behaving recklessly

• Sleeping too little or too much

• Withdrawing or feeling isolated

• Showing rage

• Talking about seeking revenge

• Displaying extreme mood swings


If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Pre- vention Lifeline exit disclaimer icon at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Trained cri- sis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you think someone is in immediate danger, do not leave him or her alone—stay there and call 911.

SOURCES: NM-IBIS (New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator Based Information System for Public Health web site,) http://ibis.health.state.nm.us; and US department of Health and Human Services, MentalHealth.gov


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