- Associated Press - Friday, April 15, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico officials are turning to primary care doctors to help lower the state’s suicide rate.

The New Mexican reports (https://bit.ly/1Qcug0S ) that officials are training primary care providers to screen for mental health issues because they are often a suicidal patient’s only connection to the health care system.

The state’s suicide rate has soared to a 19-year high. The latest data places it fifth-highest in the nation.

New Mexico’s budget for fiscal year 2017 cut $3 million from a program that funds mental health services for low-income patients. Officials hope a three-year, $1.47 million federal grant for the primary care initiative will help fill in treatment gaps.

The new initiative also reflects Gov. Susana Martinez’ efforts to align physical and mental health care in publicly-funded programs like Medicaid.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, https://www.sfnewmexican.com


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