DefinitionPercentage of students grades 9-12 in a NM public school who reported attempting suicide at least one time, in the past 12 months.
NumeratorNumber of students who answered, "1 time", "2 or 3 times", "4 or 5 times", or "6 or more times", to the question, "During the past 12 months, how many times did you actually attempt suicide?"
DenominatorTotal number of respondents who answered the question, "During the past 12 months, how many times did you actually attempt suicide?"
Data Interpretation IssuesRates for 2001 and 2003 are based upon a different sampling methodology than for the years 2005-2017. Since 2005, the NM sampling methodology was consistent with the methodology recommended by CDC and was consistent with other states participating in the YRBSS. The questionnaire item was identical to that used by the national YRBSS questionnaire and other participating YRBSS states' questionnaires. For more information, see "2015 NM-YRRS Survey Results Report: Mental Health and Related Behaviors", available at http://www.youthrisk.org/pdf/YRRS_Mental_Health_Report_2015.pdf.
Why Is This Important?In NM in 2015, suicide was the leading cause of death, tied with unintentional injuries, for youth between the ages of 15 and 19. In the U.S. in 2015, according to the CDC, suicide was the second leading cause of death for this same age group. While girls are more likely than boys to attempt suicide, boys are more likely to die of suicide. A previous suicide attempt is among the strongest risk factors for completed suicide.
Healthy People Objective: MHMD-2, Reduce suicide attempts by adolescentsU.S. Target: 1.7 suicide attempts per 100
Other ObjectivesSubstance Abuse Epidemiology Report Indicator, Mental Health Report Indicator
How Are We Doing?The percentage of NM high school students who attempted suicide has decreased from 12.9% in 2001 to 9.4% in 2015.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?The percentage of US high school students who attempted suicide has risen slowly since 2009, while the NM rate has decreased. There is no significant difference between the NM rate (9.4%) and the US rate (8.6%).
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 PracticesFor reviews of evidence-based practices, please see:
-US Preventive Services Task Force: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/
-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?s Community Guide: http://www.thecommunityguide.org/index.html
-Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration?s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices: http://www.samhsa.gov/nrepp
Health Program InformationThe 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: Carol Moss, 505-476-1440