The 2018 Healthy Youth Survey indicates growing levels of distress among Washington youth.
The study reports how, statewide, students’ mental health outcomes have worsened from 2008-2018 by highlighting a 33-percent rise in 10th graders feeling hopeless, a 35-percent increase in teens experiencing suicidal thoughts and a 39-percent uptick in those same youths planning suicide.
In Lewis County, 35 percent of eighth graders, 41 percent of 10th graders and 39 percent of 12th graders reported feeling depressive feelings.
All grades surveyed — eighth, 10th and 12th — showed an increase in rates of depressive and suicidal thoughts in the past 10 years, according to the survey.
According to data, 25 percent of Lewis County 12th graders surveyed reported considering attempting suicide and 63 percent reported feeling anxious in the past two weeks.
The data from the survey also shows how more 10th-grade boys and girls are coping with suicidal thoughts, planned suicide and attempted suicide across the board.
Lesbian, gay or bisexual students in particular are exhibiting higher rates of considering, making plans for or attempting suicide on a state level.
Noteworthy among those stats was a significant spike in the lesbian, gay or bisexual teen population having suicidal thoughts on a statewide level that climbed from 19 percent in 2008 to 49 percent 10 years later.
Results from the Mental Health America’s 2019 national assessment of mental health and access to care suggest that Washington ranks 31st on youth behavioral health among the 50 states.
Reach Out for Help
Visit the Washington State Youth Suicide Prevention Program Website: www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/InjuryandViolencePrevention/SuicidePrevention/YouthSuicide.
OSPI suicide prevention page: www.k12.wa.us/safetycenter/YouthSuicide/SuicidePrevention.aspx.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
For help, text "HOME’’ to 741741 for a 24/7, free, confidential crisis counselor or call 1-800-TEENLINK (833-6546) to speak with a caring teen.