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, 2015)
  • Among children aged 10 to 14, death by suicide is now more common than death from traffic accidents. (National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2015)
  • New Mexico ranks FIRST in the nation for youth suicide ages 15-19; In 2017, there were 41 deaths among those 15-19 years; in 2016, there were 20 deaths, and NM had the 8th highest rate at 20 deaths (rate = 14.4/100,000 population). (CDC Wonder, 2017)
  • New Mexico ranks FOURTH among states with the highest suicide rates for all age-groups (CDC Wonder, 2017)
  • In the most recent 2017 New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey for grades 9-12, 22.7% of self-identified girls and 13% of self-identified boys in Santa Fe County high schools reported that they had seriously considered suicide; 11.9% of self-identified girls and 7.7% of self-identified boys had attempted suicide. (NM Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS) 2017)
  • 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).
  • 39 percent of LGBTQ youth including more than half of transgender and non-binary youth report seriously considering suicide in the past 12 months. (National Survey on LGBTQ Mental Health, Trevor Project, 2019)
  • 2 in 3 LGBTQ youth report that someone attempted to convince them to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. (National Survey on LGBTQ Mental Health, Trevor Project, 2019)
  • 42 percent of LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy report a suicide attempt in the last year. (National Survey on LGBTQ Mental Health, Trevor Project, 2019)

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.