Since the pandemic began, there have been increased rates of psychological distress among young people, including symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. (Courtesy of NAMI)
Since the pandemic began, there have been increased rates of psychological distress among young people, including symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. (Courtesy of NAMI)

Mental health issues of high school students heightened during the coronavirus pandemic, according to survey results published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Generally, 37% of the high school students experienced poor mental health at least most of the time during the pandemic, the survey said. Forty-four percent of students experienced persistent sadness or hopelessness that caused them to stop doing some of their usual activities.

The survey revealed that nearly 20% considered suicide and almost 10% had attempted suicide. Poor mental health was more common among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, as well as female high school students.

The survey reported that more than a third of high school students — including nearly two-thirds of Asian students and a little over half of the Black students — reported experiencing racism before or during the pandemic. Those who reported racial mistreatment were less likely to feel connected to their peers at school and more likely to experience mental health episodes, and difficulty concentrating and remembering or making decisions.

“Youth is in crisis,” said Kathleen Ethier, director of the CDC’s division of adolescent and school health, CNN reported. “The data and others like it show us that young people and their families have been under incredible levels of stress during the pandemic. Our data exposes cracks and uncovers an important layer of insight into the extreme disruptions that some youths have encountered during the pandemic.”

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