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Suicides by the Numbers: Looking at El Paso, Texas, and New Mexico

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- September is Suicide Prevention Month. It's one of the leading causes of death across the United States.

By examining data from the federal, state and local level, a light can be shown on the challenges in the Borderland and beyond.

While suicidal ideation can affect anyone -- some groups are at a higher risk than others.

In 2022, more than 49,000 people completed a suicide attempt nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control's provisional data. That means not all cases have been fully reviewed by CDC experts. 

The overwhelming majority were men -- over 39,000 -- roughly three-times the rate of women.

Looking at 2021's numbers from the CDC, many suicides were in those over age 85. The closest number of suicides were in those between 75 and 84 -- and the number of suicides for those between 15 and 24 closely mirror their elder counterparts.

Over half of all suicides in the country involve a firearm. The number of suicide deaths went up more than 2% between 2021 and 2022.

In the past two decades, the suicide mortality rate of Texas has gone up by 36%, according to state figures. A recent report from the El Paso County Coroner's Office, shows that last year, there were 108 suicides in the county.

In 2021, one of the top five states for suicide included New Mexico, and it was the second leading cause of death for people under 34.

If you need support, there are a number of options for contacting professionals:

  • 988: The National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline - Anyone can contact the Crisis line through phone, text or message any time, for any mental distress.
  • The 988 line has a dedicated Veterans Crisis Line
  • EHN Crisis Hotline: (915-779-1800) - Staffed by locals, and a long-term resource in El Paso, Emergence Health Network's hotline has specialists ready to hear you out.
  • Emergence Health Network - EHN is able to offer many different forms of support for mental health and wellness. From pet therapy to addiction treatment.
  • NAMI El Paso - As part of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, there are some options listed on their website for support and connection. NAMI is focused on providing support to anyone with any sort of mental illness.
  • In NEW MEXICO, you can reach out to the CRISIS AND ACCESS LINE AT 855-662-7474.

It's important to note that these are just tools, and suicide support includes multiple forms of support. Psychological support can be a very important factor in preventing future attempts, according to the American Psychological Association.

Avery Martinez covers mental health in the Borderland as part of ABC-7’s Be Mindful initiative. He is also a Report for America corps member. RFA places talented, emerging journalists in newsrooms like ABC-7’s to report on under-covered issues and communities. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.

Article Topic Follows: Be Mindful

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Avery Martinez


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