COVID-19 has rocked the foundations of many Americans around the country. COVID-19 does not only represent a virus, but more than an entire year of pandemonium. We have seen extremes from the media, from politicians and from various groups of people taking to the streets. Somewhere in the back of all the mass hysteria, a group of people seems to have been forgotten. Juvenile Americans have been dealing with more mental health issues than ever before.
How could such a precious group within our country be forced to endure so much sacrifice without having any say in the matter?
New Mexico has the fourth highest suicide rate in 2021, according to World Population Review. This isn’t the only statistic on suicide that should matter. Young people in New Mexico are at an increased risk compared to the rest of the country as well. Twenty-nine percent of deaths of young people between the ages of 15 and 24 during the period of 2014 to 2018 were due to suicide.
Why does New Mexico have such high sucide rates and why have numbers for mental health issues continued to rise during the Pandemic? Searching for answers can be difficult due to the lack of information and studies available.
The Alamogordo Public School district has begun looking for answers as well as solutions. In the 2019 – 2020 school year, the district reported 27 students with psychiatric visits and in the 2020 – 2021 school year, they reported 76 visits. In one year, they had a nearly 300% increase in reported visits of their students. A survey found that in 2020, twenty-seven percent of their students reported needing school based mental health services.
To get an understanding, begin by taking a look at Texas. In 2020, Texas was ranked 12th in the nation for suicide, at 14.2 per capita, compared to New Mexico at 25.7 per 100,000 residents. Why does Texas have a lower rate of suicide even though it borders New Mexico, and how does this apply to the era of COVID-19? In Texas, the state didn’t keep everyone closed down, whereas New Mexico had some of the strictest lockdown rules in the country.
Alec MacGillis wrote a moving piece for ProPublica.org called “The Lost Year: What the Pandemic Cost Teenagers.” In it, MacGillis tells of a tear jerking story of a high school junior named Kooper Davis.
In Hobbs, New Mexico, the high school was closed, as were all high schools in New Mexico throughout the end of the 2019-2020 and the entire 2020-2021 school years. Kooper loved football and he loved going to school. An aspiring quarterback, Kooper’s junior year in high school would be the most important due to these grades and these football games being the one college recruiters would be looking at. A democratic governor made sure that this year would never happen for Kooper, Michelle Lujan Grisham forced schools to stay closed.
Just across the border in Texas, just a few miles from the edge of Hobbs and within driving range for Kooper, the high school football teams would be playing a normal season. Why in a town just across an invisible line, are teens being forced to sacrifice their future, while others are able to play in front of crowds and socialize in the halls of their high schools? The answer is conservative and liberal governments.
The New Mexico state COVID-19 page leads to a mental health section that states “As hard as you work to stay healthy, remember your emotions, thoughts, faith or spirituality and relationships are just as important as washing your hands”. Pause, and read that statement again.
The state of New Mexico is telling its citizens that faith and relationships are important. The same state that closed the churches and schools that our youth depend on for their social lives and relationships. The schools and churches that Kooper was so invested in. This is a state run by democrats.
This democrat catastrophe does not end with just closing down schools and churches. Democrats across the country have said some of the most outrageous things about our kids. Andy Slavitt, a senior advisor of Joe Biden’s COVID-19 task force tweeted on January 03, 2021, that “They should circulate less, or will become vectors. Like mosquitos carrying a tropical disease”. This disgusting tweet was about America’s children. Comparing children to mosquitos like some kind of lower life form is inexcusable.
Imagine being such a terrible person that you would lay the death of loved ones on the backs of children. Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said “One of the more heartbreaking conversations that our healthcare workers share is about these last words when children apologize to their parents and grandparents for bringing COVID into their homes for getting them sick. And these apologies are just some of the last words that loved ones will ever hear as they die alone”. This piece of human trash is attempting to blame children for killing their parents and grandparents while visiting them over Christmas.
How much can we ask our children to sacrifice? How much can we take away from their young lives when they are too young to understand and have no voice of their own? For Kooper Davis, all that was taken away from him was too much. Kooper Davis took his own life on December 07, 2020.
He isn’t the only one that was crushed by sacrifices he should never have been forced to make. A simple Google search will bring up plenty of others.
Now, here in July, we are seeing the rise of the so-called Delta variant strain of COVID-19. And as if right on queue, Michelle Lujan Grisham’s oppressive government is beginning the cycle all over again. On July 26, 2021, the New Mexico Public Education Department released its mask guidance for schools. For those who wish to go maskless, they must show proof of their vaccination status, or continue to wear a mask. This is just the beginning of how Michelle Lujan Grisham’s government is going to segregate our kids. Kids without vaccines, will only be on one side of the table, further identifying themselves as outliers.
For a government that has prided itself on inclusivity, this plan seems to be pretty negatively exclusive to those students whose parents do not wish to give an experimental vaccine to their children. These kids have been through enough already. The government should already be working on fixing the mental toll that the past 16 months have taken, not adding additional problems. New Mexico is number 49 for suicide in the country for a reason. If nothing continues to be done, how will these numbers ever change? A new variant of COVID comes around and instead of working to fix the problem, the state turns to the same old policies that failed last time.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Reaching out for help does not make you or anyone else a coward. If you or someone you know is feeling down or hopeless, please reach out. Watch out for your children of all ages, it is difficult to tell what they are going through during this time. Turn on the news and watch how fully grown adults react to every new COVID event. Now think about how our kids must be feeling.
Even though there are larger stories circulating around the state, the country and the world, suicide is still there. With almost double the suicide rate of our neighbor in Texas, there is a case to be made that more attention needs to be paid to mental health in our younger generations. We must look beyond all of the hyped up madness and remember that when COVID-19 is finally gone, our kids will still be here and they will all still matter.