Student Well-Being

Suicide Prevention

By Jessica L. Tonn — February 01, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
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.
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Opinion Nobody Wants to Look Stupid: Resources for Teaching About Executive Functions
Executive functioning is a learned skill, explains an educational therapist. Here’s how to teach it to your students—and yourself.
Lexi Peterson
4 min read
Little girl inside head of woman papercut vector illustration. Psychology, inner child, human individuality and memory of childhood healing concept
iStock/Getty Images
Student Well-Being Quiz Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About Teens’ Tobacco and Nicotine Use?
Answer these seven questions about students’ nicotine and tobacco habits.
1 min read
A high school principal displays vaping devices that were confiscated from students in such places as restrooms or hallways at the school in Massachusetts on April 10, 2018.
A high school principal displays vaping devices that were confiscated from students in such places as restrooms or hallways at the school in Massachusetts on April 10, 2018.
Steven Senne/AP
Student Well-Being Q&A A Superintendent Explains Why Her District Is Suing Social Media Companies
Student mental health and behavioral issues have become a major drain on district resources as social media use has risen.
3 min read
Teenage girl looking at smart phone
Student Well-Being Opinion When Students Feel Unlucky, Teachers Can Help Change That Attitude
Mindsets matter when it comes to thinking about opportunity. Here’s what new research finds.
Paul A. O'Keefe
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.