MADISON – Wisconsin adolescents report increased rates of suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety, according to a new report released Friday by the state’s Office of Children’s Mental Health (OCMH). .
According to the report, nearly 34% of Wisconsin students say they feel sad and hopeless almost every day. A statistic that researchers are looking for a solution to.
During Friday afternoon’s debriefing, OCMH leaders highlighted some progress and areas in need of significant improvement. In terms of progress, bullying has decreased slightly, teenage fertility rates have fallen, and the number of school social workers, counselors, and psychologists has increased. But if there is room for improvement, more needs to be done to address the rising trend of students experiencing negative mental health.
“Academic achievement is declining, students feel less connected to school than they did five years ago, and students are experiencing negative mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide. are all on the rise, said Amy Marsman, Senior Research Analyst at OCMH.
One of the report’s most surprising stats is that more than half of Wisconsin high school students said they’ve struggled with anxiety or depression. In addition, his third of them say they feel sad and hopeless every day. 10% increase from 2012.
Eva Pellegrino, a student at Mukwonago High School, is one teenager who has experienced the effects of negative mental health.
“In casual conversations with colleagues and friends, we found that this statistic was supported by at least 50%,” said Pellegrino, Live Experience Partner at OCMH. “I myself have anxiety and I actively work to manage it every day. , with the pressure to achieve higher education, or advance into the workforce.”
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For students like Pellegrino, she hopes the findings of these reports will shed light on issues that have been in the shadows for too long.
“I think Covid has identified the beginning of an increase in mental health problems many times over,” Pellegrino said. “But I think these problems were on the rise even before Covid. Probably , Covid has given us why we need to ask for help to speak out on issues that haven’t been addressed in decades.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or click here for additional resources.
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