CDC Finds Teen Girls At A Record High For Mental Health Concerns - Health Digest


Overall, mental health in teens has been declining, but this trend is particularly pronounced in girls. According to the YRBS, in 2021 the percentage of teens experiencing persistent sadness and hopelessness rose to the highest rate in a decade, climbing to 42% overall. This number was even higher for girls, reaching 57%.

The percentage of high school girls seriously considering suicide rose to 30%, an increase from 2019. 24% had made a suicide plan, 13% attempted suicide, and 4% were injured in a suicide attempt. And these rates are even higher in the LGBQ+ population. (Survey participants were not asked if they were transgender.)

At the CDC briefing on the report, president of the National PTA Anna King said that these results point to the need for schools to educate staff and families on mental health resources, as well as for Congress to provide funding specifically for children who are survivors of trauma. The CDC also recommends more programs for schools to address the crisis, such as sex education.

The report also stressed the importance of positive relationships at school. Dr. Kathleen Ethier, head of the CDC’s adolescent and school health program, said that when students feel connected to others, they’re less prone to be victims or perpetrators of violence and are less likely to attempt suicide 20 years later (via New York Times).

If you or a loved one is having thoughts of suicide, call or text 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.


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