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Result 1: Improved health status for New Mexicans

P003: Suicide rate per 100,000 population

Current Value

22.2 per 100,000



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Story Behind the Curve

  • The suicide rate in NM has consistently been at least 50% higher than the U.S. rate. Over the past decade, suicides increased in NM by about 33% compared to a 21% increase in the U.S. In 2015, NM had the fourth highest rate of suicide among all ages, and suicide accounted for 8.7% of all years of potential life lost before 75 years.
  • In 2015, suicide was the eighth leading cause of death among NM residents and the second leading cause of death for persons 10-49 years. In 2015, 16% of these deaths were among youth ages 10-24 years. Whites and American Indians had the highest rates of suicide in New Mexico. Over the past decade, rates among White adults as well as those 65 years and older increased by more than 50%. The suicide rate for males was more than three times that of females. Rural counties had higher suicide rates compared to metropolitan counties over the five-year period from 2011-2015.
  • Suicide rates by firearm have increased significantly over the past decade. 53% of those who died by suicide from 2011-2015 in NM used a firearm; this compares to 51% nationally over the same period. The leading cause of suicide death among American Indians was suffocation, and in all other racial/ethnic groups, the leading cause was firearms.
  • The NM 2016 age-adjusted suicide rate was 22.2 per 100,000 population.
  • Using syndromic surveillance data, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is developing a process for identifying and intervening in suicide attempt clusters.


  • National Alliance on Mental Illness NM
  • NM Crisis and Action Line
  • NM Suicide Prevention Coalition
  • Southern NM Suicide Prevention & Survivors Support Coalition
  • NM Injury Prevention Coalition
  • NM Human Services Department Behavioral Health Services Division
  • NM Children, Youth and Families Department
  • Office of the Medical Investigator
  • Suicide Prevention Coalition Building in Native American Communities
  • University of NM (UNM) Center for Rural and Community Behavioral Health
  • County health councils
  • School districts
  • Regional local behavioral health collaboratives
  • Tribal councils
  • UNM LGBTQ Resource Center

What Works

  • Community Interventions
    • Postvention
    • Safe reporting/messaging about suicide
    • Community engagement activities
    • Gatekeeper training
    • Crisis intervention
    • Reducing access to lethal means among persons at risk of suicide
    • Parenting skill and family relationship programs
  • Clinical Interventions
    • Treatment for people at risk of suicide
    • Treatment to prevent re-attempts
  • School-based Interventions
    • Peer norm programs
    • Social-emotional learning programs
  • Organizational Interventions
    • Safer suicide care through systems change
    • Organizational policies and culture
  • Policy Interventions
    • Strengthening household financial security
    • Housing stabilization policies
    • Coverage of mental health conditions in insurance policies
    • Reducing provider shortages in underserved areas
    • Community-based policies to reduce excessive alcohol use


  • Identify and support people at risk (gatekeeper training, crisis intervention).
  • Lessen harms and prevent future risk (safe reporting/messaging about suicide).
  • Promote connectedness (community engagement activities).
  • Create protective environments (reduce access to lethal means among persons at risk of suicide).

FY17 Annual Progress Summary

In FY17, 52 community members were trained in evidence-based suicide prevention programming, exceeding the target of 50.  We are working on an approach for intervening in suicide attempt clusters.

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Scorecard Container Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy