Bill aims to stem American Indian teenage suicides

Sante Fe, New Mexico (AP) March 2011

 Senator Lynda Lovejoy
Legislation has been introduced in the New Mexico Senate that aims to prevent suicide among American Indian teenagers.

Sen. Lynda Lovejoy says two dozen suicide attempts and another 18 fatalities were documented in Thoreau and surrounding communities in western New Mexico from December 2009 through May 2010.

The Crownpoint Democrat says the legislation, if passed and signed by the governor, would show that the state is trying to do something about what she describes as an epidemic.

The bill would use $300,000 from the state’s general fund to create a clearinghouse to coordinate culturally based suicide prevention services.

The clearinghouse would focus on continuing efforts at prevention, intervention and post suicide attempt assistance for Indian youth, their families and tribes.