UNDATED (WJON News) - Minnesota students are making better decisions about alcohol and tobacco, but struggling with long-term mental health problems.

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That’s the takeaway from the 2022 Minnesota Student Survey.

More than 135,000 Minnesota students took the survey in school during the first half of 2022.

Outgoing Minnesota Education Commissioner Sarah Mueller says the annual survey continues to be an important tool in determining the state of mind of the student population.

These results indicate the pandemic fueled and worsened ongoing trends of our teens reporting long-term mental health problems. It will take more research to know the interplay of all the factors, but it is clear that this is a crisis, and Minnesotans, lawmakers and families need to focus resources and attention in and outside of schools to give our children and their families the connections, supports, stable environments and opportunities they need for a sense of well-being about their lives and futures.

Among the positives:

  • 83% of students feel safe at home, school, or in their neighborhood.
  • Student smoking rates have fallen to an all-time low.
  • Alcohol use, sexual activity, and marijuana use are down across all grade levels.
  • Students overwhelmingly agree that teachers at their school care about their students.

More worrisome:

  •  28% of eleventh-graders have seriously considered suicide at some point in their life.
  • 55% of eleventh-graders feel valued and appreciated at school.
  • 29% of students report long-term mental health problems.
  • Girls are more likely than boys to skip lunch.
  • Weekly bullying and cyber-bullying increased, especially in the lower grades.

For the complete report, click here.

 

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