The Need for Suicide Prevention and Intervention Services
- “More than 3,000 children and young adults, ages 10-24, take their own lives each year in this country. That’s the human loss equivalent, in children, of September 11, repeating itself every year.” (National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
- In New Mexico State, suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 15-24 and the third leading cause of death among youth ages 10-14. (NM Epidemiology Report, 2006).
- New Mexico ranks FIFTH among states with the highest suicide rates for all age-groups (American Association of Suicidology, dated September 20, 2012, downloaded from http://www.suicidology.org.
- In the most recent 2011 New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, for grades, 9-12, 17.2% of Santa Fe County high school students seriously considered suicide; 10.2% attempted.
- Bullying is associated with increases in suicide risk in young people who are victims of bullying (Kim, Leventhal, Koh, & Boyce, 2009) as well as increases in depression and other problems associated with suicide (Gina & Pozzoli, 2009; Fekkes, Pipers, & Verloove-Vanhorcik, 2004).
These statistics do not reveal the true extent of the problem: the devastating loss of promise and hopefulness in a young life that is impossible to quantify. Unfortunately, suicide is a largely ignored issue until it is brought to the forefront by the incomprehensible death of a child.