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An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

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Timm Lucero accepts award for service during Katrina

(To the left) Sandoval County undersheriff Tim Lucero accepts from County Commissioner Jack Thomas a certificate recognizing his service in the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina. Also honored were (left to right) Sgt. Ed Morrison, deputy Joe Harris, and reserve deputy Paul Caputo, who accompanied Lucero on the mission.

A focus on suicide prevention efforts

Last week, New Mexico proudly took a step forward in advancing suicide prevention and early intervention, and its dedication to saving our children's lives. The New Mexico Department of Health has received $400,000 in federal funding—one of the first ever federal grants specifically for youth suicide prevention—from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The funding was made possible by the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act of 2004. My cousin, Senator Gordon Smith (R-Oregon), wrote the legislation in tribute to his son, Garrett, who died by suicide on September 8, 2003, one day short of his twenty-second birthday. Garrett suffered from manic depression. This funding will provide important resources to help identify at-risk youth and foster better coordination and communication to develop the best ways to prevent other painful losses.
Suicide rates have been rising steadily among the young and nearly tripled between 1952 and 1995. Suicide now ranks as the second-leading cause of death for American college students. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death between the ages of ten and twenty-four, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Youth suicide is a personal tragedy for affected families and loved ones, and a national public health crisis. Sadly, New Mexico has the highest rate of suicide in the nation among children and ranks second for the number of teen suicides. Among our high school students, 21 percent report having thought seriously about killing themselves in the past year and 15 percent have actually made a suicide attempt. These figures are frightening and unacceptable, especially given that the risk factors for suicide are well known and highly treatable.
New Mexico's Garrett Lee Smith grant will assist in expanding our current suicide prevention and intervention efforts in schools and communities by increasing statewide capacity, with a focus on four priority sites with the greatest unmet needs. Key components of the plan include programs such as the Columbia University TeenScreen Program, which offers voluntary mental-health checkups so youth at-risk for suicide are identified early and offered referrals to qualified mental health professionals for appropriate intervention. New Mexico already has an extremely successful TeenScreen program, with twenty-two sites currently operating and helping our youth. This new funding will now enable TeenScreen to expand to new locations and reach more at-risk youth who are needlessly suffering in silence.
Too many families have faced tragedies that could have been avoided. We need to identify these young people and help them avoid making a devastating mistake. We have a long way to go in our fight to address youth suicide, but the award of this grant is a great step forward and a testament to our commitment as we continue to make youth mental health a state priority. Let us serve as an example for the country in making it a national priority, as well.

Web site informs New Mexicans about consumer scams

By logging onto, visitors can sign up to receive scam alerts issued by the attorney general’s office in their inbox. Alerts will be sent as new scams are reported to the office.

“I encourage New Mexicans not only to subscribe to receive e-mail scam alerts from my office, but also to report scams and questionable schemes to the Consumer Protection Division, at 1 (800) 678-1508,” Attorney General Patricia Madrid said.

Visitors logging on to the Web site should click on the You Should Know button on the home page, then select Scam Alerts on the left side of the following page. On the Scam Alerts page, visitors should click the Subscribe button, which will direct them to a form where they will be asked to input their e-mail address and name.



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