Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

Mental Health - Adult Suicidal Ideation

Summary Indicator Report Data View Options

In 2016, the NM prevalence of those adults who considered suicide was 5.6%. Since 2011, the NM prevalence has remained stable.
Male and female adults had similar rates of suicidal ideation. Among both sexes, the prevalence of having considered suicide in the past year was greatest for younger adults compared with those older.
The prevalence of suicidal ideation was greater among Black adults compared to White and Hispanic adults.
The prevalence of suicidal ideation was greater among Black adults compared to White and Hispanic adults. Rates of suicidal ideation did not vary meaningfully by sex.
The prevalence of suicidal ideation among respondents who identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual (20.1%) was nearly four times that of those who identified as straight (5.1%).

Adult Suicidal Ideation by County, New Mexico, 2020

Adult Suicidal Ideation by Health Region, New Mexico, 2020

Adult Suicidal Ideation by Urban and Rural Counties, New Mexico, 2020

Why Is This Important?

Suicidal ideation refers to thoughts of suicide or wanting to take one's own life, and is a risk factor for suicide or attempted suicide. Suicide rates in NM have been at least twice the national rate since at least 1995. Due to the disproportionate rate of suicide occurring in New Mexico for decades and the rising rate of suicide nationwide, understanding the prevalence of risk factors for suicide and the disparities in the New Mexico population is critical for prevention planning. Prior suicide attempts have been shown to be the strongest risk factor for suicide, and more than half of suicide attempts occur within one year of the onset of suicide ideation. Based on this knowledge of suicidal behavior, the World Health Organization and the United States Office of the Surgeon General have recommended routine surveillance for suicidal behavior such as attempts and ideation. In doing so, suicide prevention plans can be targeted specifically at communities with high risk and evaluated more thoroughly.


Percentage of NM residents 18 years or older experiencing suicidal ideation, defined as answering "Yes" to the question, "In the past year, have you felt so low at times that you thought about committing suicide?"

Data Source

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with New Mexico Department of Health, Injury and Behavioral Epidemiology Bureau.

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:Number of survey respondents who reported thinking about committing suicide within the year prior to survey.
Denominator:Number of survey respondents excluding those with missing, "Don't know/Not sure," and "Refused" responses.

How Are We Doing?

According to the 2011 BRFSS, the prevalence of thinking about suicide among adults was 7% in 2019, up from 5.6% in 2016.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Each year, approximately 58,000 adults in NM (3.8%) and 9,196,000 adults in the US (3.9%) seriously consider suicide (SAMHSA). In 2018-2019, the prevalence of any "Any Thoughts or Plans of Suicide" was 11.5% for New Mexico which was higher than the national rate of 9.2% (National Survey on Drug Use and Health - SAMHSA).

What Is Being Done?

The New Mexico Department of Health collects, analyzes, and disseminates suicide death data in order to identify populations with disproportionately high rates of suicide. These data can be used in conjunction with community partners to develop and implement prevention and intervention efforts to reduce suicide deaths. The NMDOH Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics collects information on all NM deaths and produces annual suicide statistics. The NM Violent Death Reporting System was implemented in 2005 to add to the understanding of how and why violent deaths occur. This active surveillance system collects comprehensive information about all violent deaths, including suicide, by linking data from death certificates, medical examiner records, and law enforcement reports into one complete record. In addition, the NM Child Fatality Review Program Suicide Panel completes an in-depth case review of suicides among children through age 17 years and makes recommendations about how to prevent future deaths.

Evidence-based Practices

In 2021, the Surgeon General released a "National Strategy for Suicide Prevention". The plan identified six strategies: 1. Activate a broad-based public health response to suicide: Broaden perspectives of suicide, who is effected, and the many factors that can affect suicide risk. Empower every organization and individual to play a role in suicide prevention. Engage people with lived experience in all aspects of suicide prevention. Use effective communication to engage diverse sectors in suicide prevention. 2. Address upstream factors that impact suicide: Promote and enhance social connectedness and opportunities to contribute. Strengthen economic supports. Engage and support high-risk and underserved groups. 3. Ensure lethal means safety: Empower communities to implement proven approaches around firearms and poisonings. Increase the use of lethal means safety counseling. 4. Support adoption of evidence-based care for suicide risk: Increase clinical training in evidence-based care for suicide risk. Improve suicide risk identification in health care settings. Conduct safety planning for with all patients who screen positive for suicide risk. Increase the use of suicide safe care pathways in health care systems for individuals at risk. Increase the use of caring contacts in diverse settings. 5. Enhance crisis care and transition services: Increase development and use of statewide or regional crisis service hubs. Increase the use of mobile crisis teams. Increase the use of crisis receiving and stabilizing facilities. Ensure safe care transitions for patients at risk. Ensure safe care transitions for patients at risk. Ensure adequate crisis infrastructure to support implementation of the national 988 number. 6. Improve the quality, timeliness, and use of suicide-related data: Increase access to near real-time data related to suicide. Improve the quality of data on causes of death. Improve coordination and sharing of suicide-related data across the federal, state, and local levels. Use multiple data sources to identify groups at risk and inform action. *** Read the full report here: ***

Other Objectives

Mental Health Report Indicator. Similar to HP2020 objective HHMI-1, "Reduce the Rate of Suicide"

Available Services

If you or someone you know is in a life-threatening position, please call 911 To talk to a counselor or ask questions about treatment 24/7, call the New Mexico Crisis Line: 1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474) If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please call one of the following hotlines to talk to someone: -New Mexico Crisis Line: 1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474) -National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ( 1-800-273- TALK (8255). En Espaol: 1-888-628-9495 -Teen to Teen Peer Counseling Hotline: 1-877-YOUTHLINE (1-877-968-8454) -Native Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-877-209-1266 -Veterans Peer Support Line: 1-877-Vet2Vet (1-800-877-838-2838) -University of New Mexico Agora Crisis Line ( 505-277-3013 or 1-866-HELP-1-NM -Graduate Student Hotline: 1-800-GRADHLP (1-800-472-3457) -Postpartum Depression Hotline: 1-800-PPD-MOMS (1-800-773-6667) To see if you or your child attends a school with a school-based health center, please visit: If you would like to seek treatment, please contact: ( 1-800-691-9067 -New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department ( at 1-505-827-8008 -The SKY Center ( 1-505-473-6191 -SHARE New Mexico Resource Directory: -United Way Central New Mexico Referral Service ( 505-245-1735 Resources for veterans and their families: For contact information for your local New Mexico Core Service Agency, please visit:

More Resources

For more information about the NM YRRS, please visit For more information about the CDC YRBSS, please visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Suicide Prevention Facts and Resources: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Suicide Prevention Facts and Resources: World Health Organization Suicide Prevention Facts and Resources: National Indian Child Welfare Association Youth Suicide Prevention Toolkit: SAMHSA Suicide Prevention Toolkit for High Schools: Honoring Native Life: Suicide Prevention Resource Center:

Health Program Information

The BRFSS is an ongoing survey of adults regarding their health related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (landline only from 1986 through 2010; landline and cellular since 2011). NM Department of Health, Mental Health Epidemiologist: Dylan Pell, 505-476-1440,

Indicator Data Last Updated On 03/11/2021, Published on 05/09/2022
Mental Health Epidemiology, Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health, 1190 S. Saint Francis Drive, Room N1320, P.O. Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM, 87502. Contact: telephone at (575) 652-0749 or email to