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tt代理赚高客佣金:Survey finds more US teens have mental health issues

By MAY ZHOU in Houston | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-04-07 15:04
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Students board a school bus outside of Washington-Liberty High School in Arlington County in Arlington, Virginia, US, Jan 25, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

申博极速百家乐官网 When schools in the United States returned to in-person classes last year, many high school teachers found that their students were having trouble concentrating and did not perform well academically. The students also were more indifferent about grades and in their treatment of others.

"I have never seen kids be so mean to each other in my life," Terrin Musbach, who trains teachers in mental health awareness and other social-emotional programs in the Del Norte Unified School District, a high-poverty district in rural Northern California, told The Associated Press.

"There's more school violence, there's more vaping, there's more substance abuse, there's more sexual activity, there's more suicide ideation, there's more of every single behavior that we would be worried about in kids."

Musbach's observations were reflected by recently released data collected in the Adolescent Behaviors and Experiences Survey conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The survey, conducted from January to June last year, queried 7,705 students nationwide in grades 9 through 12 in private and public high schools.

The survey results indicated that the mental health of students has deteriorated across the US since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey also found that more than 44 percent of respondents felt sad or hopeless at one time or another, and 31 percent reported feeling anxious and depressed most of the time.

The pandemic fallout made it worse, with 37 percent of the students reporting poor mental health most of the time. About 66 percent of the respondents said they found it more difficult to do homework after the pandemic started, and 45 percent said they have serious difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.

Fifty-five percent of the respondents said a parent or other adult in their home had sworn at them, insulted them or put them down, while 11 percent reported physical abuse such as being hit, beaten or kicked after the pandemic started.

Roughly 22 percent of students said some adult in the household lost a job during the pandemic, and 23 percent said they went hungry due to a shortage of food at home.

The survey results also indicated that poor mental health has led to poor personal habits. About 36 percent of the respondents said they used an electronic vapor product on at least one day in the 30 days previous to the survey. More than 55 percent said they had tried to quit using any tobacco-related products, about 20 percent said they used alcohol, and one-fourth said they had tried marijuana.

The survey also found that about 20 percent of students thought of committing suicide and about 9 percent said they had attempted suicide. Female students were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide than male students, according to the survey results.

"That means a significant portion of our young people are telling us they don't want to live right now," Kathleen Ethier, director of the CDC's Adolescent and School Health Division, told The New York Times.

Some suicide attempts succeeded. In one case, Jay Lu, a 15-year-old sophomore at Fayetteville-Manlius High School in Manlius, New York, committed suicide in late March. Lu was known to have been struggling with depression.

The incident prompted some students and parents to start a petition to demand access to licensed mental health professionals through the school. The petition has received more than 3,000 signatures.

The petition says that the current unlicensed school counselors "do not have the qualifications to offer the proper guidance or aid to those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or severe mental health concerns".

Kate Dias, president of the Connecticut Education Association, said more psychologists and counselors are needed because the mental health crisis has reached a critical moment.

"Many Connecticut schools don't have enough school counselors, social workers, or psychologists to meet the growing needs of our students," Dias wrote on the association's website. "Caseloads are staggering, students who need trusted professionals at school to talk to are being wait-listed, and unless the legislature acts now and increases the number of mental health professionals in our schools, children will keep falling through the cracks."

Many states face a shortage of mental health service providers in schools, according to Hopeful Futures Campaign, an organization that advocates for school mental health.

The organization released a report in February 2022 that said only Idaho and the District of Columbia exceed the recommended ratio of one psychologist per 500 students.

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