Last week, the CDC published an alarming report showing that American high school students are experiencing a mental health crisis.
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey studied various trends among teens from 2011 to 2021. The data showed a dramatic increase in depression and thoughts of suicide, especially among teen girls:
- 57% of high school girls reported feelings of sadness or hopelessness.
- 30% of high school girls seriously considered attempting suicide.
- 24% of high school girls made a suicide plan.
The report was developed by the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH), whose vision is to help young people have the knowledge, skills, and resources for healthy adolescence and adulthood.
Bringing greater attention to this crisis is a start. Reversing the trend will require a multifaceted approach, with families, schools, and even employers working together.
While the pandemic has contributed to this crisis by disrupting schooling, increasing physical isolation, and promoting social media usage, the study shows that many of these trends start much earlier.
For parents and teens, Employee Assistance Programs provide an excellent resource for information and referrals for short-term counseling or in-the-moment support.
We encourage organizations and leadership teams to promote these services and encourage parents and teens to seek information and support. The following information is from the AllOne Health Insights Hub.