January 17, 2020

Survey: Student Perceptions of Support Vary

A recent report released by YouthTruth underscores that programs and services, as well as strong relationships with adults in school, matter to students’ emotional and mental health, and especially to vulnerable populations. The report draws on the responses of over 70,000 secondary students in across 18 states gathered between 2012 and 2019. According to the survey, all types of students have risk factors for suicide and many types of students had differing perceptions of support including:

  • 1 in 7 students seriously considered attempting suicide in the last 12 months, which is consistent with previous research findings.
  • Only 68 percent of students say they know ways to cope and feel better when they are upset, experiencing stress or having other types of problems.
  • Students with special needs were found to be more likely than general education students to report thoughts of suicide at 22% compared to 14%. 53% of these students compared to 45% of general education students, however, said they have an adult in school they can speak with about these feelings.
  • Students qualifying for free or reduced-price meals and English learners were more likely than those not in those groups to report that their schools have programs or services available to help them with other needs.

Students who don’t identify as male or female were less likely than other students to say there is an adult they can reach out to at school for help. These students also reported being more likely than their peers to have seriously considered suicide.

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