ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State health officials say New Mexico had more suicides in 2018 than any other year in at least two decades.
According to data provided by the state's Department of Health, 535 people died by suicide last year.
That a rate of 24.8 per 100,000 residents and represents a 6.7% increase over the state's 2017 suicide rate.
Mental health experts told the Albuquerque Journal that the 2018 numbers represent the highest suicide rate on record in New Mexico since the state began consistently keeping track in 1999.
According to an analysis released by the Violence Policy Center, New Mexico had the fourth highest suicide rate in the nation in 2017 at 23.51 per 100,000 people.
Authorities say there's an association with firearm ownership and firearms use and deaths connected to suicide.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com