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Important Facts for Suicide Death


The suicide death rate is defined as the number of deaths attributed to suicide per 100,000 population.


The total number of suicide deaths per year.


The estimated mid-year population.

Data Interpretation Issues

Suicide deaths may be subject to local misclassification of the underlying cause of death. Suicide deaths include only NM resident deaths. Deaths for persons of unknown age are not included in age-adjusted rates.

Why Is This Important?

Suicidal behaviors are a serious public health problem and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in New Mexico. In 2017, 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.

Healthy People Objective: MHMD-1, Reduce the suicide rate

U.S. Target: 10.2 suicides per 100,000

Other Objectives

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

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.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2016, NM had the fourth highest age-adjusted suicide rate among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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 -U.S. Preventive Services Task Force -U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide) -Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices:

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.
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 Mon, 20 September 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Wed, 1 May 2019 12:40:30 MDT