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Health Indicator Report of Suicide Death

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.
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.


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.   All rates are per 100,000, age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population.

Data Sources

  • New Mexico Death Data: Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), New Mexico Department of Health.
  • New Mexico Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program,

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.


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.

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:

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: Text: Text HOME to 741 741 Agora Crisis Center: Call: 505-277-3013 or 1-855-505-4505 On-line chat: 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 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: 1-800-691-9067 or e-mail New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department Behavioral Health Services: or 1-505-827-8008 Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1 800-662-4357 (HELP) or 1-800-487-4889 (TTY) The SKY Center: 1-505-473-6191. Spanish speaking also Mental & Behavioral Health Service Providers in Bernalillo County: SHARE New Mexico Resource Directory: United Way of Central New Mexico:;;0;;N;0;81916;Health/Medical%20Mental%20Health Resources for veterans and their families: State of New Mexico Behavioral Health Services Network of Care: and 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 505-473-6191 Southern New Mexico Suicide Prevention and Suicide Support Coalition: New Mexico Suicide Prevention Coalition: Contact New Mexico Suicide Prevention Program Coordinator

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.
Page Content Updated On 12/12/2018, Published on 01/09/2019
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, 1 May 2019 12:40:30 MDT