In a recent conference call with elected officials from across the state, one official shared that his community’s teen suicide rate had increased by 500% since the onset of the COVID shutdown. Other elected officials have shared similar stories and concerns.
In July, the Albuquerque Journal reported that New Mexico had the highest rate of suicides in the nation – that was based on data from 2018, before COVID-19 hit. The Journal study said we had a 9% increase in 2018 and a rate of suicides of 25.6 per 100,000 people compared to the national average of 14.8 suicides per 100,000. This is a dire situation that is only going to get worse with so many lives disrupted and with so many positive outlets, such as athletics, disrupted.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. On Friday, members of the Age Friendly Communities Council and the Eddy County DWI Program came to City Hall to help issue a reminder. The Chamber’s Age Friendly Communities Council has hosted several events and virtual events addressing issues such as behavioral health, depression and suicide. Thanks to Janell Whitlock, Stella Davis, Wanda Welch and all of the Council members for this effort, as well as Ashlyn Lujan and Brandy Mendoza with the DWI Council.
If you or someone you know are seeking support for someone with depression or anxiety, are looking for a counselor in your area, or are just needing someone to talk to, please call the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line at 1-855-662-7474 or the Peer to Peer Warmline at 1-855-466-7100. The Crisis Line is set up for 24-hour service, while the “Warmline” offers service from 3:30 to 11:30 p.m.
There are also a number of local individuals who offer services which may be helpful. This week, we had a good visit with a local resident named Honor Medina, who offers Equus Coaching (therapy with horses) and other therapy services. Her web page is www.honormedina.com. If you are ever looking for someone to help, please let us know.
Carlsbad standout Trevor Rogers struck out five in the first two innings Friday, but ran into quite a bit of trouble after that. Trevor gave up nine hits and nine runs in his first rough showing of the season in Miami’s loss to Philadelphia. We know he’ll be back. Trevor starts again next Wednesday against the Red Sox.
The Carlsbad Community Foundation wrapped up its Community Giving Week with several more incredible announcements. This week, the Foundation announced a grant to CARC Inc. through the Gary Don Forrest Endowment; a grant check to the Boys & Girls Club from the Nagel Boys & Girls Club Capital Fund; a grant to the Heights Lions Club for a project that provides ramps to local residents; and a grant to the Renaissance Program, which provides support to local students. Congratulations to all of the recipients.
Many people are asking us about what’s going in down by the Beach area. We’re proud to say that the City is in the process of putting in two world-class beach volleyball courts. We’re so fortunate to have the Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area in our community, and we’re always looking for ways to make it better. Please have a great weekend.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway