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June 16, 2017 -The Netflix series “Thirteen Reasons Why” has stirred controversy for its graphic portrayal of youth suicide and dramatizes the reasons why the lead character took her life.

Teens — and adults — are divided over whether it’s a realistic portrayal that raises awareness, or a harmful depiction that could make suicide more alluring. But the fact remains that talking about mental health among young people is very difficult and fraught with stigma.

This persists even though many mental health problems begin to manifest early in our lives, so it is important to talk about them and make sure young people can get help if they need it. This is especially true in New Mexico, which has long had youth suicides rates that far exceed those nationally. Contributing factors include high rates of trauma and adverse childhood experiences. So how do we reduce stigma, open up discussion and ensure young people can get help when they need it?

Correspondent Megan Kamerick leads a discussion this week with local advocates and experts about the mental health needs of teens and services available throughout the state.

Michele Herling, executive director, Compassionate Touch Network
Maika Padilla, peer educator, Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council
Dr. George Davis, specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry
Dr. Andrew Hsi, director, Institute for Resilience, Health and Justice

Suicide Statistics In New Mexico – New Mexico Suicide Intervention Project
Mental Health in Youth and Young Adults – New Mexico Department of Health
Adverse Childhood Experiences in New Mexico – America’s Health Rankings
Adverse Childhood Experiences In New Mexico Juvenile Justice Population – NM Sentencing Commission