December 8, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393
jchavez@ped.state.nm.us

Teen Suicide Documentary Will Air Followed by
Live Call-In Program about Youth Suicide Prevention

(Santa Fe, NM)-- Coming Back: A Death and Life Story About Sons, Daughters and Friends will air on Wednesday, December 15th from 7 to 8 pm and December 16th from 8 to 9 pm and December 18th from 4 to 5 pm. New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department (CYFD), the Department of Health, the Public Education Department (PED) and Human Services Department present this teen suicide documentary in association with Cooperative Educational Services, Competitive Benefits Administrators, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, New Mexico Parent Teacher Association, New Mexico Suicide Prevention Coalition, the New Mexico Coalition of School Administrators, KNME TV, KOAT TV, KRWG TV, KENW TV and The Albuquerque Journal. A live call-in program about youth suicide prevention will air immediately following the documentary. This documentary was filmed with New Mexico students, teachers and other professionals.

Secretary of Education Dr. Veronica García said, “Teen suicide is tragically near epidemic levels, and so often preventable if you understand what to look for…we encourage students, parents, teachers and administrators to watch this important documentary. We particularly hope parents will watch this program with their children.”

New Mexico’s suicide rates have historically been nearly twice the national rate and suicide is the third leading death among NM youth. 2001 statistics indicate that one in five adolescents in New Mexico had seriously considered killing themselves and one in ten had attempted suicide.

Executive Producer, Chris Schueler of Christopher Productions noted the awesome number of people and organizations coming together to make this documentary possible, “When you meet the incredible advocates and the people in the trenches, the non-profit groups and the state experts—and when you’re able to combine that enthusiasm and expertise with the power of ABC and PBS television stations around the state, plus the Albuquerque Journal—you know we have an opportunity to help solve this problem.”

Elements of the project include:

§ 30 minute broadcast documentary
§ 30 minute live follow-up show broadcast immediately after the documentary
§ 30 minute training tape for educators disseminated through all the public schools in NM
§ 30 minute educational tape for families disseminated through NM PTA
§ Series of Informational/Promotional commercials
§ Curriculum guide for use with the documentary