Las Cruces Public Schools recently partnered with Robyn Rehbein, clinical counselor and volunteer with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to bring a suicide prevention awareness curriculum to middle and high school students.  The New Mexico Chapter of AFSP donated the “More than Sad” curriculum and materials to LCPS so that educators will have a tool for suicide prevention education in their classrooms.

The curriculum includes important topics such as how to talk about suicide, warning signs and risk factors of suicide, and how to help students who are at risk.  With the support of school counselors and social workers, classroom teachers can utilize “More than Sad” to initiate important and often times difficult conversations with their students surrounding mental health and how to access treatment for youth who are struggling with difficult emotions.

In the United States, September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Now, more than ever this is an important topic in New Mexico that demands attention.  According to an article published in the August 25th issue of the Las Cruces Sun News 46 young New Mexicans between the ages of 10 and 19 years old died of suicide in 2017 alone.  The Sun News went on the report that this is the fifth highest youth suicide rate in the United States, and it is double the national average.

City and state officials, mental health workers, health care providers and public health officials are working hard to understand the increase in behaviors that put New Mexico youth at risk of harm, so that the public health crisis which is plaguing our youth can be treated. While funding is tight for mental health care and education across the state, the safety and lives of New Mexico children must be tended to and it takes a village to do the work.

On September 21, AFSP will host an annual Out of Darkness Walk to raise awareness and funds that support the organization’s work. More information can be found here  Las Cruces Out of Darkness. Additionally, on September 6th the City of Las Cruces will hold a suicide recovery and awareness night.  More information can be found at City of Las Cruces Recovery Night.

Event Details

Walk Date: 09/21/2019
Walk Location: Young’s Park – Las Cruces, NM
Check-in/Registration Time: 8:00 am
Walk Begins: 9:30 am
Walk Ends: 1:00 pm

For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Robyn Rehbein-Narvaez
Contact Phone: 575-496-8532
Contact Email: Robynrehbein@gmail.com

Online registration closes at noon (local time) the Friday before the walk. However, anyone who would like to participate can register in person at the walk from the time check-in begins until the walk starts. Registration is free and open to the public. Walk donations are accepted until December 31st.

— Samantha Lewis, LCPS Public Relations Coordinator, 575-527-5946, slewis@lcps.net