SANTA FE ―Senate Bill 250, sponsored by Sen. George K. Muñoz, passed the Senate Indian and Cultural Affairs Committee.
The bill appropriates $150,000 to fund a clearing house Native American suicide prevention which provides culturally appropriate suicide prevention, intervention and post-event assistance statewide to Native American individuals, families and tribes, nations and pueblos.
“Although Indian Health Services is legally responsible to provide healthcare to Native Americans, more needs to be done,” Muñoz said. “These additional resources will help reduce the unacceptable suicide rates in our tribal communities.”
This is a continuation of a bill cosponsored by Senator Muñoz, and passed in 2011, which established the Clearinghouse. Suicide rates are double the national average and Native American teens have the highest suicide rates out of any group in the country.
“New Mexico has made some investments in suicide prevention that I championed in a previous session,” Muñoz said. “This bill increases the support for suicide prevention that is vital for Indian Country.”