“A Cry for Help”: CDC Warns of a Steep Decline in Teen Mental Health

June 03, 2022
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Washington Post

Recent federal data show teens have struggled during the pandemic, with some groups impacted more than others. The data come from a survey of 7,700 high school students carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from January through June of 2021. In the survey, more than 4 in 10 teens said they felt “persistently sad or hopeless” and 1 in 5 said they had suicidal thoughts. LGBTQ students, girls, and those who experienced racism at school reported higher rates of poor mental health than their peers. CDC researchers said the results highlight the importance of providing extra support to students disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The findings also demonstrate the protective power of connection, with teens who felt “close to people at school” much less likely to report suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or poor mental health than those who did not feel closeness at school. “Comprehensive strategies that improve connections with others at home, in the community, and at school might foster improved mental health among youths during and after the pandemic,” the authors wrote.

Spark Extra! Learn more about promoting social connectedness.