On youth mental health and school connectedness

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released findings that the mental well-being of high schoolers—already in decline over the past decade—may be further “eroding” since the onset of the pandemic.

According to the CDC, “more than a third (37%) of high school students reported they experienced poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44% reported they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year.”

The results confirm the need for greater mental health support for our kids. The CDC states “a sense of being cared for, supported, and belonging at school—called ‘school connectedness’—had an important effect on students during a time of severe disruption.”

The report goes on to state, “youth who felt connected to adults and peers at school were significantly less likely than those who did not to report persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness (35% vs. 53%); that they seriously considered attempting suicide (14% vs. 26%); or attempted suicide (6% vs. 12%). However, fewer than half (47%) of youth reported feeling close to people at school during the pandemic.”

The We Fight network has affiliations with 88 schools across northern Michigan. These connections are an opportunity.

How can we better help our kids feel cared for and supported at school – to help them feel like they belong?

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, school staff, or community member who volunteers at your neighborhood school, we all have a role.

Join the We Fight network.

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