Skip to Content

Former city councilor’s death generates discussion on suicide

The city lowered its flag to half-staff Tuesday in honor of former City Councilor Miguel Silva, who committed suicide Sunday.

Silva, 55, served on council for eight years and taught at the Dona Ana Community College. In November 2015, he ran for mayor but was unable to unseat the incumbent, Ken Miyagishima.

City council observed a moment of silence before hearing from those who knew and worked with Silva. “I would ask that we include Miguel and his family in our thoughts and prayers,” said City Councilor Greg Smith.

Many of those who spoke during public comment said they were in disbelief when they heard about Silva’s death because he loved his city and always had a smile on his face. “I feel remorse that I did not reach out to Miguel,” said Smith.

Silva’s death has the Las Cruces community talking about a subject many find difficult to understand. Mental health advocate, Ron Gurley, said there is a stigma associated with suicide. “You’re blaming the person for creating a problem (many of us) don’t want to think about,” said Gurley.

City officials told ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom it provides a 24 hour suicide prevention outreach service to all city employees. “They can call and there will always be a person who will meet with them one-on-one, regardless of (what time it is),” said Udell Vigil, a city spokesman.

ABC-7 also reached out to Las Cruces Public Schools. A district spokeswoman said they provide students with counselors, nurses, and school-based health centers where they can seek help. “The school district had to go through this recently. We had a student who committed suicide and we want to make sure that we reach kids before they get to that point,” said Jo Galvan, “It is a serious issue among young people.”

New Mexico State University has a counseling center on campus. Dona Ana County also provides employees with assistance that includes free counseling.

Las Cruces residents can access the New Mexico Crisis Hotline. The number is 1-855-662-7474.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content