New Mexico communities seeing drastic increase in suicides


New Mexico had a high rate of suicide before the pandemic. Many towns in the state are seeing even more, now. It is something that not only impacts families but has a huge ripple effect. “The pandemic has created enormous stressors on everyone and heightening a lot of risk factors that already existed,” said Dr. Avi Kriechman, a psychiatrist at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences. In towns such as Farmington, police there say the number of suicides this year has skyrocketed. They were four at this time in 2019. Already this year there have been 11. “It is a really tough thing for officers to respond to because we are helpers and and we want to help people it’s always heartbreaking to see that result,” Farmington police spokeswoman Nicole Brown said. Health care workers say, with the pandemic, many people are isolated and stressed. That combination, along with substance abuse like drugs and alcohol can be deadly.Health care workers say there are multiple crisis lifelines out there. “One thing I’m very concerned about … is that we focus a lot on the people who die by killing themselves and we don’t focus on the survivors,” Dr. Kriechman said.NM Crisis and Access Line: 1-855-NMCRISISAGORA Crisis Line: 866-HELP-1-NMSuicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)​

New Mexico had a high rate of suicide before the pandemic. Many towns in the state are seeing even more, now. It is something that not only impacts families but has a huge ripple effect.

“The pandemic has created enormous stressors on everyone and heightening a lot of risk factors that already existed,” said Dr. Avi Kriechman, a psychiatrist at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences.

In towns such as Farmington, police there say the number of suicides this year has skyrocketed. They were four at this time in 2019. Already this year there have been 11.

“It is a really tough thing for officers to respond to because we are helpers and and we want to help people it’s always heartbreaking to see that result,” Farmington police spokeswoman Nicole Brown said.

Health care workers say, with the pandemic, many people are isolated and stressed.

That combination, along with substance abuse like drugs and alcohol can be deadly.

Health care workers say there are multiple crisis lifelines out there.

“One thing I’m very concerned about … is that we focus a lot on the people who die by killing themselves and we don’t focus on the survivors,” Dr. Kriechman said.

  • NM Crisis and Access Line: 1-855-NMCRISIS
  • AGORA Crisis Line: 866-HELP-1-NM
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)​



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