Mental Health: Trends Among America’s Youth

The CDC recently released the results of their “Youth Risk Behavior Survey” compiling data from 2011 – 2021. This is a comprehensive report including data on 29 variables from areas such as Sexual Behavior, Substance Abuse, Experiences of Violence, Mental Health, and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors.

As can be seen from the graphic from this report, many trends are not moving in a favorable direction.

The details and overall message from this report is alarming.

As a concerned American, there is much that we need to work on as a nation to reverse these trends. Republicans clearly do not want to help. Republicans consistently put up unqualified representatives, not as an attempt to improve any of these situations – but to Distract Attention from the issues that need to be understood more deeply and dealt with more effectively.

We must not fall prey to the Republicans Politics of Distraction.

As American citizens who want to improve the conditions in our country we must stay focused, and continually work towards making improvements. In today’s times, this means Voting for Democrats Across the Board.

Democrats have principles, know how to get the job done, and don’t just do it for the 1%.

It’s a comprehensive report, and I highly recommend downloading it from the website:

CDC Youth Risk Behavior Summary 2011-2021

Key Findings:

Safety Concerns.

“Data shows increases in the proportion of youth who did not go to school because of safety concerns, increases among female students experiencing sexual violence by anyone and being forced to have sex, and increases among male students experiencing electronic bullying.”

Across almost all measures of substance use, experiences of violence, mental health, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, female students are faring more poorly than male students. These differences, and the rates at which female students are reporting such negative experiences, are stark.”

Disparities Among Peer Groups – LGBTQ:

“As in previous reports, we continue to see disparities among students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning, or another non-heterosexual identity (LGBQ+) or who have had any same-sex sexual partners compared to their peers

They were also significantly more likely to experience all forms of violence The differences in terms of mental health, compared to their peers, are substantial Close to 70% of LGBQ+ students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness during the past year and more than 50% had poor mental health during the past 30 days Almost 25% attempted suicide during the past year.”

On Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors:

“Large percentages of students across all racial and ethnic groups experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness during the past year.”

Key Findings on Social Determinants Affecting Youth Health:

Unstable Housing.

School Connectedness, defined as “feeling close to people at school.”

Parental Monitoring.

Summary of Suggested Actions:

Increase School Connectedness across all grades for all youths

Increase access to needed services by improving school-based services and connecting youth and families to community-based sources of care.

Implement quality health education for all grades.

It’s easy to see from the results of this comprehensive report that there is much work to do in terms of improving the quality of health and safety for our youth.

We can make a difference. Stay Informed. Get Involved. Vote in Every Election, especially local elections.

And always Vote Blue.

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