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Posted: September 27, 2019

A Tragic Reality for Too Many

A message to the APS School Community from Superintendent Raquel Reedy

Sept. 27, 2019

Dear APS School Community,

It breaks my heart to send this letter to you, but it’s time we bring everyone together to talk about what’s become a tragic reality for too many of our students and their families.

Late last night, I received a call notifying me of yet another suicide of one of our students. As you may already know, suicides are at an all-time high in our country right now, and New Mexico’s rate has been consistently more than 50% higher than the national rate. It makes sense that our school district has been impacted by this mental health crisis. The question is, what will we do about it?

As the superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools, I need you to know we will continue to do everything possible to provide mental health services in our schools. But we can’t do it alone.

Students spend a portion of the day with us, and during that time the caring adults they are with do their best to nurture trusting relationships so students know there is someone they can turn to if they find themselves in crisis. Staff is trained to look for warning signs that a student may be in crisis and understands the importance of taking immediate action if necessary.

The district has a highly trained cadre of school counselors who offer an array of services to students, staff, and families. We are actively exploring how we can add to the services already available and hope to have even more support and resources for all APS students.

In the meantime, I am pleading with you to start a dialogue about suicide in your own home, in your intimate social circles, and with anyone you care about. There has been a greater number of students who have died by suicide in some communities than others. We don’t know why this is happening, but we know it can’t continue.

If you, or someone you care about, is struggling with life challenges, ask for help. Sometimes we just need to know someone cares and that things will get better.

The immediate resource you or your child can call is the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line anytime is 1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474).

We can’t wait to begin this difficult discussion. 


Raquel Reedy
Superintendent, Albuquerque Public Schools