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Health Indicator Report of Mental Health - Youth Feeling Sad/Hopeless

Feelings of sadness or hopelessness are a risk factor for depression. Students who report feelings of sadness or hopelessness are more likely than other students to report suicide attempts, cigarette smoking, binge drinking and illicit drug use. The prevalence of feelings of sadness or hopelessness among youth in NM and the US has remained relatively stable since 2001. In 2015, the prevalence among youth in NM (32.5%) was higher than that of the US (29.9%), although this difference was not statistically significant.
The percentage of New Mexican youth in 2017 experiencing feelings of sadness and hopelessness (35.8%) was significantly higher than that of United States youth (31.5%).


The NM Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS) is administered in odd years and is part of the national Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS), coordinated and designed 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

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

Data Interpretation Issues

Rates for 2001 and 2003 are based upon a different sampling methodology than for the years 2005 and beyond. Since 2005, the NM sampling methodology was consistent with the methodology recommended by CDC, and was consistent with other states participating in the YRBS. The questionnaire item was identical to that used by the national YRBS and other participating YRBS states. For more information, see "2013 NM-YRRS Survey Results Report: Mental Health and Related Behaviors", available at


Percentage of students grades 9-12 in a NM public school who felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that they stopped doing some usual activities during the past 12 months.


Number of students who answered, "Yes", to the question, "During the past 12 months, did you ever feel so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that you stopped doing some usual activities?"


Total number of respondents who answered the question, "During the past 12 months, did you ever feel so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that you stopped doing some usual activities?"

Healthy People Objective: MHMD-4.1, Reduce the proportion of persons who experience major depressive episode (MDE): Adolescents aged 12 to 17 years

U.S. Target: 7.4 percent

Other Objectives

Substance Abuse Epidemiology Report Indicator Mental Health Report Indicator New Mexico Community Health Status Indicator (CHSI)

How Are We Doing?

The prevalence of feelings of sadness or hopelessness among youth in NM and the US has remained relatively stable since 2001, but the prevalence among youth in NM in 2015 is the highest it has been in 15 years.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

There was not a statistically significant difference in the prevalence of feelings of sadness or hopelessness among youth in NM (32.5%) and the US (29.9%).

What Is Being Done?

The Department of Health's Office of School and Adolescent Health provides training and funding for 66 school-based health clinics that provide both primary and behavioral health services for students. The Department of Health's Epidemiology and Response Division conducts ongoing surveillance for indicators of mental health among students and adults in every county of New Mexico. The Human Services Department recently modernized the New Mexico Medicaid system by integrating physical and behavioral health services in the Centennial Care program, which will help treat an individual in a more holistic manner. In a recent survey of behavioral health consumers in New Mexico, results showed that New Mexico ranks in the top half of states or above the national average regarding access to services, participation in treatment, and mental health workforce availability.

Evidence-based Practices

For reviews of evidence-based practices, please see: -US Preventive Services Task Force: -Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?s Community Guide: -Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration?s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices:

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 -SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline: 1‑800-662-HELP (4357), also online at -The SKY Center ( 1-505-473-6191 -Search Providers in Bernalillo County: -New Mexico Social Service Resource Directory ( 1-800-432-2080 -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:[1].pdf To join a support group organized by Optum Health, please register at: If you would like to be involved in community suicide prevention, please contact one of the following groups: -New Mexico Suicide Intervention Project ( 505-820-1066 -New Mexico Suicide Prevention Coalition ( 505-401-9382 -Southern New Mexico Suicide Prevention and Suicide Support Coalition:

Health Program Information

The YRRS is a tool to assess the health risk behaviors and resiliency (protective) factors of New Mexico high school and middle school students. The YRRS is part of the national CDC YRBSS, but the survey results have widespread benefits for New Mexico 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 offered to a selection 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, Mental Health Epidemiologist: Carol Moss, 505-476-1440
Page Content Updated On 12/12/2018, Published on 12/12/2018
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sat, 29 January 2022 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:28:11 MST