Youth Suicidal Ideation
The percentage of high school students who seriously considered suicide
Figure 39: The percentage of high school students who seriously considered suicide, 2019-21.
Data Source: 2021 High School Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (NM YRRS)
How is New Mexico Doing?
In 2019, 18.8% of NM public high school students seriously considered attempting suicide in the past 12 months. This was nearly twice as common among females (24.8%) than males (12.8%). While females were more likely than males to seriously consider suicide, males were more likely to die from suicide. This rate of seriously considering suicide has increased slightly over the past decade, from 15.9% in 2009 to 18.8% in 2019. From 2019 to 2021, there was a slight increase in high school students who seriously considered suicide (1.3%). High school girls that seriously considered suicide increased from 24.8% to 26.2% from 2019 to 2021. High school boys that seriously considered suicide increased from 12.8% to 13.9% from 2019 to 2021.
How does New Mexico compare to the nation?
In 2019, 18.8% of US high school youth said they had seriously considered suicide, which was identical to the NM rate. Across all participating states, the percentage ranged from 12.7% to 26.6%. In 2021, according to the YRBS Data Summary and Trends Report 2011-2021, 22% of high school students nationwide seriously considered suicide, which was 1.9% higher than the NM average.
What does this mean?
When teens experience tough problems or strong feelings, suicide can seem like the only solution. In NM, health education standards include mental health and suicide prevention, and school-based health centers work to reduce the stigma of seeking mental health care. After a suicide, team approaches are key. Successful prevention and intervention in the juvenile justice setting require rigorous screening and diagnosis coordinated with initiatives to address the risk factors that increase impulse and decrease hope in distressed youth. Research shows that youth who feel highly connected to their family, peers, schools and community are less likely to engage in risky behavior.