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Suicide Death

Summary Indicator Report Data View Options

Since 1995, NM suicide rates have been consistently 1.5 times higher than national rates. From 2006-2016, suicide deaths increased in NM by about 25% compared to a 23% increase in the U.S.

Suicide Deaths by County, New Mexico, 2015-2019

Over the past decade, from 2008-2017, age-adjusted suicide death rates increased by 14%. For males, the age-adjusted suicide death rate increased by 18% while, for females, it decreased by 2%. At the beginning of this 10-year period, male suicide death rates were three times that of females; at the end of the period, male rates were more than 3 1/2 times greater.
From 1999-2017, suicide deaths increased in all age groups. The largest increase in suicide deaths was among youth 10-24 years (50%), followed by those 65 years and older (30%). In 2017, the highest suicide death rate was among persons aged 65 years and older (29.6 deaths/100,000 population). 2017 rates reflect a statistically-significant increase in deaths among youth aged 10-24 years.
Over the past decade, age-adjusted suicide death rates increased among all racial/ethnic groups except for American Indian/Alaska Native and Black/African American. Suicide death rates among Whites increased by 32% from 2006-2008 to 2015-2017, a statistically significant change. During this period, suicide rates among Whites were on average 71% higher than Hispanics and surpassed suicide deaths among American Indians.
Suicides due to firearm injuries accounted for the majority of suicide deaths over all years, followed by suffocation and poisoning. From 2008-2017, age-adjusted firearm suicide death rates increased by 29%, and suffocation suicide death rates increased by 36%; poisoning suicide death rates over the same time period decreased by 55%. In 2017, the firearm suicide rate was 63% higher than the suffocation suicide rate.
Suicide rates were highest among adults 85 years and older followed by those 45-54 years and 75-84 years. The male suicide rate was more than 3 times higher than the female rate; males had higher suicide rates in all age groups. Among males, the highest suicide rates were in those 75 years and older, whereas the highest rates among females were in the age groups 45 to 64 years.
Whites had the highest suicide rate, followed by American Indians and Hispanics. Males had higher suicide rates than females across all racial/ethnic groups. White males had suicide rates that were significantly higher than both American Indian and Hispanic males, and American Indian and Hispanic males had suicide rates that were significantly higher than both Asian/Pacific Islander and Black/African American males. White females had higher suicide rates compared to other racial/ethnic groups.
American Indians had the highest suicide rates among youth and young adults 15-34 years, and Whites had the highest suicide rates among middle aged and older adults 35 years to 85 years and older compared to other racial/ethnic groups.
Firearms were the leading cause of suicide death, accounting for 53% of suicides from 2012-2016. Firearm suicide rates were more than 6 times higher among males (19.8 per 100,000) compared to females (3.1 per 100,000). The leading causes of suicide death among males were firearm, followed by suffocation and poisoning. The leading causes of suicide death among females were poisoning, followed by firearm and suffocation.
Firearm was the leading cause of suicide death across all age groups except among those 10-14 years for which suffocation was the leading cause. Suffocation was the second leading cause of death among persons 15-54, whereas poisoning was the second leading cause of death among persons 55 years and older.
The leading cause of suicide death among American Indians was suffocation, whereas firearm was the leading cause of death in all other racial/ethnic groups.

Suicide Deaths by Urban and Rural Counties, New Mexico, 2015-2019

Suicide Deaths by Health Region, New Mexico, 2015-2019

Why Is This Important?

Suicidal behaviors are a serious public health problem and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in New Mexico. In 2018, suicide was the ninth leading cause of death in NM, the second leading cause of death by age group for persons 5-34 years of age and the fourth leading cause of death by age group for persons 35-44 years of age. Suicide accounted for 15,048 Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL), fourth after unintentional injuries, cancer, and heart disease deaths. The YPLL is a measure of premature mortality in a population that describes the impact of injury-related deaths on a society compared to other causes of death. Suicide deaths have been increasing in both New Mexico and the United States, with suicide death rates in NM at least 50% higher than U.S. rates over the past 20 years. Mental disorders, particularly clinical depression, increase the risk for both attempted suicide and suicide. Other risk factors associated with suicide include a previous suicide attempt, alcohol and substance abuse, a family history of suicide, a history of child maltreatment, feelings of hopelessness, isolation, barriers to mental health treatment, loss (of relationships, social connections, work, finances), physical illness, and easy access to lethal methods, such as firearms.

Definition

The suicide death rate is defined as the number of deaths attributed to suicide per 100,000 population. Suicide deaths for 1995-1998 were defined by underlying cause of death based on International Classification of Diseases, version 9 (ICD-9) codes; and suicide deaths for 1999 and later were defined by underlying cause of death based on International Classification of Diseases, version 10 (ICD-10) codes.

Data Sources

  • New Mexico Death Data: Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health.
    (https://www.nmhealth.org/about/erd/bvrhs/vrp/)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC WONDER Online Database
    (http://wonder.cdc.gov)
  • New Mexico Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program.
    (http://gps.unm.edu/)

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:The total number of suicide deaths per year.
Denominator:The estimated mid-year population.

How Are We Doing?

The suicide rate in NM has consistently been at least 50% higher than the U.S. rate. Suicide rates in NM and the U.S. have increased over the period 1999-2017. In 2016, the age-adjusted suicide rate in NM was 64% higher than the U.S. age-adjusted rate.

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

For reviews of evidence-based practices, please see: -Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicideTechnicalPackage.pdf -U.S. Preventive Services Task Force https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/ -U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide) https://www.thecommunityguide.org/ -Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: http://www.samhsa.gov/nrepp

Available Services

If you or someone you know is in a life-threatening position, please call 911. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please call one of the following hotlines to talk to someone: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call (English): 1-800-273-8255 Call (Spanish): 1 -888-628-9454 para obtener asistencia en espaol Speech and Hearing Impaired: 1-800-799-4889 (TTY) On-line chat: https://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org Text: Text HOME to 741 741 Agora Crisis Center: Call: 505-277-3013 or 1-855-505-4505 On-line chat: www.agoracares.org/ New Mexico Crisis and Access Line: Call: 1-855-662-7474 Warm Line call or text: 1-855-466-7100 Veteran Crisis Line: Call: 1-800-273-8255, Option 1 Deaf or hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889 Chat: Crisis Chat https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/get-help/chat Text: 838255 Veteran Caregiver Support Line: Call: 1-855-260-3274 Other Crisis Service Lines: Youth America Hotline: Peer Counseling Hotline: 1-877-968-8454 (YOUTHLINE) Veterans Peer Support Line: 1-877-Vet2Vet (1-800-877-838-2838) Graduate Student Hotline: 1-800-GRADHLP (1-800-472-3457) (may roll-over to other crisis line service) Postpartum Depression Hotline: 1-800-773-6667 (1-800-PPD-MOMS) (call may roll over to other crisis line service) For sites where you can locate a list of potential behavioral health services, please contact: New Mexico Association of School-based Health Centers: http://www.nmasbhc.org/SBHC_Locator.html PullTogether.org: https://pulltogether.org 1-800-691-9067 or e-mail info@pulltogether.org New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department Behavioral Health Services: https://cyfd.org/behavioral-health or 1-505-827-8008 Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/ 1 800-662-4357 (HELP) or 1-800-487-4889 (TTY) The SKY Center: http://nmsip.org/services/sky-center/ 1-505-473-6191. Spanish speaking also Mental & Behavioral Health Service Providers in Bernalillo County: http://ccpi.unm.edu/visualizations/mental-behavioral-health-service-providers SHARE New Mexico Resource Directory: https://sharenm.org United Way of Central New Mexico: http://www.navigateresources.net/uwcnm/Subcategory.aspx?;;0;;N;0;81916;Health/Medical%20Mental%20Health Resources for veterans and their families: https://www.treatmentworksforvets.org State of New Mexico Behavioral Health Services Network of Care: http://newmexico.networkofcare.org/mh/index.aspx and http://newmexico.networkofcare.org/mh/content.aspx?id=11893 If you would like to be involved in community suicide prevention or are interested in trainings for suicide awareness and prevention, please contact one of the following groups: The Sky Center New Mexico Suicide Intervention Project http://nmsip.org/: 505-473-6191 Southern New Mexico Suicide Prevention and Suicide Support Coalition: http://endsuicide.net/ New Mexico Suicide Prevention Coalition: Contact New Mexico Suicide Prevention Program Coordinator jacalyn.dougherty@state.nm.us

More Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Suicide Prevention Facts and Resources: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/suicide/index.html National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Resource: https://theactionalliance.org/resource/transforming-communities-key-elements-comprehensive-community-based-suicide-prevention Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Suicide Prevention: http://www.samhsa.gov/suicide-prevention Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center: http://www.samhsa.gov/prevention/suicide.aspx World Health Organization Suicide Prevention Facts and Resources: http://www.who.int/topics/suicide/en/ National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/national-strategy-suicide-prevention/index.html

Health Program Information

NM Department of Health, Office of School and Adolescent Health Youth Suicide Prevention Program Coordinator: ?, 505-222-8683 NM Department of Health, Office of Injury Prevention Suicide Prevention Coordinator: Jacalyn Dougherty, 505-827-2488.

Indicator Data Last Updated On 12/12/2018, Published on 03/29/2022
Injury Epidemiology, Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health, 1190 S. Saint Francis Drive, Room N1106, P.O. Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM, 87502. Contact Tierney Murphy, by telephone at (505) 827-6816 or email to Tierney.Murphy@state.nm.us.