Pandemic Took Toll On High School Students’ Mental Health, Well-being, CDC Reports

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Isolation and lack of social get-togethers during the pandemic took a toll on high school students nationally, a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.

The findings are based on anonymous online questionnaires taken during the first six months of 2021. About 7,700 high school students in grades 9-12, who attend 128 public and private schools, participated.

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CDC officials said that the pandemic did not affect teens equally. LGBT youth reported poorer mental health.

According to the CDC survey results:

• More than a third (37%) of high school students said they experienced poor mental health.

• About 44% said they felt sad or hopeless in the past year.

• More than half (55%) said that they experienced emotional abuse by a parent or other adult in their home. The abuse included swearing or insulting.

• About 11% said that they were physically abused by a parent or adult, including hitting, beating or kicking.

• 24% said that they went hungry during the pandemic because there was not enough food.

“These data echo a cry for help,” said CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director Debra Houry, M.D., in a press release.  “The COVID-19 pandemic has created traumatic stressors that have the potential to further erode students’ mental well-being. Our research shows that surrounding youth with the proper support can reverse these trends and help our youth now and in the future.”

Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth and female youth reported greater levels of poor mental health; emotional abuse by a parent or caregiver; and having attempted suicide than their counterparts, the CDC said.

Read the CDC report here

To view the CDC report scroll below.

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