Student Well-Being

Suicide Prevention

By Jessica L. Tonn — February 01, 2005 1 min read

Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico has recommended that the state spend $600,000 on a package of proposals designed to combat the high suicide rate among the state’s adolescents.

The proposal is based on a list of recommendations issued in January by the governor’s Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force, a 20-member group of health-care providers, counselors, statewide suicide-prevention coordinators, and friends and family members of suicide victims that convened last October.

In a letter accompanying the group’s report, state Secretary of Health Michelle Lujan Grisham wrote that, if implemented, the recommendations would “immediately begin to decrease this almost epidemic state problem.”

The suicide rate for 15- to-24-year-olds in New Mexico is twice the national average, and suicide is the third leading cause of death among the state’s 15- to-19-year-olds. According to the 2003 Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, conducted every two years by New Mexico’s departments of public health and education, more than 14 percent of the nearly 11,000 adolescents surveyed in the state said they had attempted suicide in the previous year.

Among the factors contributing to the high rates of suicide and attempted suicide, the task force and state health officials cite the stigma attached to mental illness among some ethnic groups, access to firearms, and insufficient access to mental-health care—all of which are exacerbated in rural areas.

Gov. Richardson’s new proposals, which he unveiled Jan. 15, call for setting up a statewide crisis hotline to provide suicide-prevention information and referral services to youths, parents, and community members.

The governor recommends increasing behavioral-health screening in schools and communities and launching a program to coordinate the efforts of all public agencies providing suicide-prevention services.

Pahl Shipley, a spokesman for Mr. Richardson, said in an e-mail that the governor has asked the legislature for an additional $6 million to pay for school-based health clinics in his fiscal 2006 budget.

The additional funding would double the number of clinics in the state, from 34 to 68.

The governor’s recommendations must be approved by the legislature, which convened Jan. 18.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the February 02, 2005 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Recruiting and Retaining a More Diverse Teaching Workforce
We discuss the importance of workforce diversity and learn strategies to recruit and retain teachers from diverse backgrounds.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Principal
Meredith, New Hampshire
Inter-Lakes School District
Elementary Principal
Washington State
Wenatchee School District
Principal
Meredith, New Hampshire
Inter-Lakes School District
Elementary Principal
Washington State
Wenatchee School District

Read Next

Student Well-Being Fauci's Latest on Vaccines for Young Kids: Not Likely This Year
A COVID-19 vaccine probably won’t be ready for elementary students until 2022, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, walking back prior comments.
2 min read
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens as President Joe Biden visits the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health on Feb. 11, 2021, in Bethesda, Md.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens as the president visits the National Institutes of Health on Feb. 11.
Evan Vucci/AP
Student Well-Being Opinion New Research Explains Why Confessions Are Convincing
Admitting mistakes makes you come across as knowledgeable—and it’s a good way to model intellectual humility.
Sam Maglio
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty
Student Well-Being Spotlight Spotlight on Forging Student Connections & Growth Mindsets
In this Spotlight, discover ways to foster a growth mindset to re-connect and engage with students.
Student Well-Being Fauci Says Young Kids Could Start Getting Vaccinated by September
A COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 1st grade may be approved by next school year, said Fauci. But some public health experts aren't so sure.
5 min read
First grade teacher Bella Legault bends down to greet a nervous incoming student at Foundation Preparatory School in New Orleans on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020.
First grade teacher Bella Legault bends down to greet a nervous incoming student at Foundation Preparatory School in New Orleans on Oct. 12.
Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP