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Mental Health - Youth Who Made a Suicide Plan

Summary Indicator Report Data View Options

Since 2009, the prevalence of youth who made a suicide plan during the past year has been rising slightly in both NM and the U.S. In 2017, the prevalence in NM (15.5%) rose slightly, while the U.S. prevalence (13.6%) dropped slightly from the 2015 survey administration.
Girls consistently had a higher prevalence of making a suicide plan compared to boys, but the difference was significant in only the 9th and 10th grades. Within sex, there was no meaningful difference across grade level.
The prevalence of making a suicide plan was significantly higher among Black youth (22.7%) compared to Hispanic youth (13.6%).
Black/African American girls had a significantly higher prevalence of making a suicide plan (31.0%) compared to Hispanic girls (15.9%). Hispanic and White females (15.9% and 21.1%, respectively) had a significantly higher prevalence of making a suicide plan compared to Hispanic and White boys (10.9% and 12.7%, respectively).
The prevalence of making a suicide plan was nearly three times as high for students who identified as gay or lesbian (33.5%) and more than three times as high for those who identified as bisexual (36.8%) compared to those who identified as straight (12.0%).

Youth Who Made a Suicide Plan in the Past Year by County, Grades 9-12, New Mexico, 2019

Youth Who Made a Suicide Plan in the Past Year by Health Region, Grades 9-12, New Mexico, 2019

Youth Who Made a Suicide Plan in the Past Year by Urban and Rural Counties, Grades 9-12, New Mexico, 2019

Why Is This Important?

Suicidal ideation refers to thoughts of suicide, including making a plan, 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. Because of 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 specifically targeted to communities with high risk and evaluated more thoroughly.


Percentage of students grades 9-12 in a NM public school who reported making a suicide plan in the past 12 months. The NM Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS) is administered in odd years and is part of the national Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), which is coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Each state, territorial, tribal, and large urban school district participating in YRBS employs a two-stage, cluster sample design to produce a representative sample of students in grades 9-12 in its jurisdiction. In the first sampling stage, in all except a few sites, schools are selected with probability proportional to school enrollment size. In the second sampling stage, intact classes of a required subject or intact classes during a required period (e.g., second period) are selected randomly. All students in sampled classes are eligible to participate. A weight is applied to each student record to adjust for student nonresponse and the distribution of students by grade, sex, and race/ethnicity in each jurisdiction.

Data Sources

  • U.S. data source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data
  • New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department.

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:Number of students who answered "Yes" to the question, "During the past 12 months, did you make a plan about how you would attempt suicide?"
Denominator:Total number of respondents who answered the question, "During the past 12 months, did you make a plan about how you would attempt suicide?"

How Are We Doing?

In 2019, 16.5% of high school students in NM made a suicide plan, up from 13.1% in 2009.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2019, 16.5% of high school students in NM made a suicide plan, comparable to the 2019 U.S. prevalence of 15.7%.

What Is Being Done?

The NM Department of Health continues to analyze and share data, reports and presentations with each year of completed YRRS surveys. School administrators and youth health advocates utilize this information to guide health promotion and treatment programs for youth in NM. Youth suicide prevention and intervention activities were initially funded by the NM Legislature in June 2005. Implementation of suicide prevention strategies statewide is a significant focus of the NM Department of Health's Office of School and Adolescent Health (OSAH). Suicide prevention activities include: 1) Providing funding for statewide crisis line response to people at risk for suicide. 2) Identifying and developing relationships with existing crisis line operators statewide to enhance statewide suicide crisis response capacity. 3) Raising awareness that suicide is a public health problem and supporting initiatives to decrease stigma surrounding mental health issues. 4) Ensuring screening, early identification, referral and follow-up for suicide risk through Student Health Questionnaires for each student who accesses school-based health centers (SBHC). 5) Offering intensive training and technical assistance for all school-based health centers surrounding identification of signs of suicide, suicide prevention and crisis response planning. 6) Gatekeeper training for educators, Medical and Behavioral Health providers, community members and youth; Natural Helper Programs; implementation and support for Gay-Straight Alliances; intensive training for school nurses; and psychiatric consultation for school counselors and school-based health center providers. 7) Providing School Health Updates, Head to Toe Conference and other regional trainings to increase awareness and knowledge of the risk factors and warning signs of suicide among school counselors, school health personnel, and behavioral health providers on suicide, crisis response and grief and trauma support in the school setting.

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

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 YRRS is a tool to assess the health risk behaviors and resiliency (protective) factors of NM high school and middle school students. The YRRS is part of the national CDC YRBSS, but the survey results have widespread benefits for NM at the state, county, and school district levels. Topic areas for the YRRS include risk behaviors related to alcohol and drug use, unintentional injury, violence, suicidal ideation and attempts, tobacco use, sexual activity, physical activity, and nutrition; resiliency (protective) factors such as relationships in the family, school, community, and with peers; and health status issues such as body weight and asthma. The YRRS is administered to a sample of high schools and middle schools in each school district in the fall of odd-numbered years. All data are self-reported by students who voluntarily complete the survey during one class period. NM Department of Health, Office of School and Adolescent Health Youth Suicide Prevention Program Coordinator: Nancy Kirkpatrick, 505-222-8683 NM Department of Health, Epidemiology and Response Division, Mental Health Epidemiologist: Dylan Pell, 505-476-1440,

Indicator Data Last Updated On 03/05/2021, Published on 05/09/2022
Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, Survey Section, Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health and Coordinated School Health & Wellness Bureau, NM Public Education Department. Contact NMDOH, 1190 S. Saint Francis Drive, P.O. Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM, 87502. Telephone: (505) 476-1779.