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David Morgan
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Suicide and High School Students

September 9, 2015 - Suicide Prevention - Information

Have you ever just wanted to die?

It sounds like a horrible question, but if you’ve ever felt that way in your life, you know I’m totally not being glib. Have you ever wanted to just die, and if the answer is yes, how close have you ever come to actually acting on that desire?

The answer nationwide is too many. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports in 2013 (the most recent year for which full data are available), 41,149 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans.

One area of concern about suicide rates is teens. The number of suicides for teens in the United States in 2013 was around 4600 – that’s an average of 12 per day.

There is some good news, however. The New Mexico Department of Health recently completed a report examining teen suicide trends over ten years in our state and found suicide attempts declining by 35 percent over the decade.

The report, entitled YRRS Report 2013: Statewide High School & Middle School Mental Health was released recently in in conjunction with September’s National Suicide Prevention Month and National Suicide Prevention Week, September 6-12.

The Department of Health’s Office of School and Adolescent Health continues to promote mental health among students by providing training and funding for 54 school-based health clinics locally and statewide. Those clinics provide important behavioral and primary health services for students.

The research is clear: increasing access to behavioral health care can help prevent suicide attempts among youth, but keeping an eye on our children’s mental health is also our responsibility as parents.

For example, the connection between bullying and suicide is now clearer than ever. Bullying has serious and lasting negative effects on the mental health and overall well-being of youth involved in bullying in any way including: those who bully others, youth who are bullied, and more. The CDC reports youth who report both bullying others and being bullied (bully-victims) have the highest risk for suicide-related behavior of any groups that report involvement in bullying.

So what do adults have to look out for among suicide warning signs?  According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, people who kill themselves exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do. The more warning signs, the greater the risk. They include:

If a person talks about:

  • Killing themselves
  • Having no reason to live
  • Being a burden to others
  • Feeling trapped
  • Unbearable pain

Or is behaving in certain ways including:

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting recklessly
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Mood is also very important. People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods: Depression, loss of interest, rage, irritability, humiliation, or anxiety.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, please call the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line 24/7 at 1-855-NMCRISIS (1-855-662-7474) to speak with a counselor or to find treatment near you.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

Versión en Español

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Suicidio y Estudiantes de Secundaria