Health | Politics

Native youth suicide program in New Mexico awaits funds





Lawmakers in New Mexico are trying to secure funding for Native youth suicide programs.

The Native American Suicide Prevention Act became law in 2011. But lawmakers failed to set aside funding for the Honoring Native Life clearinghouse at the University of New Mexico and for prevention programs aimed at Native youth.

Some money was approved in 2012 for the clearinghouse but not for the programs. Advocates hope this year will be different.

"The youth are ready to talk about it, to be engaging on it," Sheri Lesansee, a Native American behavioral health program manager at UNM, told New Mexico In Depth. "We don't want to lose their voices in this."

The rate of suicide among Native youth in New Mexico is nearly four times the national rate, according to the state.

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Funding would boost Native youth suicide prevention (New Mexico In Depth 1/20)