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September Named Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

09/11/2018

At its Sept. 11 administrative meeting, the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners proclaimed Sept. 2018 as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and calls upon all citizens to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities to support suicide prevention efforts.

Mental health is part of overall physical health and emotional well-being and community-based behavioral health services that respond to individual and family needs are cost-effective and beneficial to consumers and the community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 40,000 individuals die by suicide every year in the U.S. and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports that, on average, at least one person dies by suicide every 19 hours in our state, the fourth-worst in the United States.

Suicide is the ninth leading cause of death in New Mexico, including second for ages 10-44, fifth for ages 45-54, seventh for ages 55-64, and 14th for ages 65 and older.

The tragic loss of someone to suicide impacts families, loved ones, and our entire community regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or economic status. Public awareness of the warning signs, risk factors, healthy help-seeking behaviors, services, and resources available for at-risk individuals are essential to decreasing the rates of suicide in our community and state.

Bernalillo County remembers the precious lives in our community lost to suicide and acknowledges the many family members, friends and loved ones left behind.

Bernalillo County joins local, state, and national partners to help raise awareness of the importance of access to quality behavioral health resources and services, to share the message that it is always okay to ask for help, and to encourage anyone struggling with thoughts of suicide or self-harm to reach out to someone they trust and/or to call the National Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line at 1-855-662-7474.

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