THE MALDEN ADVOCATE - Friday, February 1, 2019 Page 5 Survey reveals troubling mental health trends among Malden students By Barbara Taormina R oughly 28 percent of Malden High School students say they suff ered from depression last year, and 10 percent reported that they seriously considered suicide. That’s just one of a group of unsettling statistics found in the latest round of Malden High School and Middle School Health Surveys conducted by the Institute for Community Health (ICH). Highlights from the surveys were recently presented to the Malden School Committee. The results revealed some positive news, such as a steady decrease in the use of alcohol, binge drinking and smoking cigarettes among Malden High students. There has also been a decline in the number of high school students who reported sexual risk factors, such as having more than four partners over a three-month period. But the information gathered on the mental health of the city’s middle and high school students is troubling. The ICH began administering the student health surveys in 2012. The surveys, which are based on the national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys conducted every two years by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, offer a look at trends in student behavior in diff erent areas, such as substance use, sexual health, violence and safety and physical and mental health. Last March, 82 percent of the city’s 920 middle school students in grades 7 and 8 participated in the survey. Among Malden High’s 1,845 students enrolled last spring, 68 percent took part in the survey. Middle school students who feel life is either “somewhat” or “very stressful” has climbed from 51 percent in 2013 to 60 percent last year. According to the 2018 survey results, 30 percent of middle school students reported that they experienced depression, which was defi ned as feeling “so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that you stopped doing usual activities.” Survey results reveal that over a 12-month period, 19 percent of middle school girls seriously considered suicide. Among middle school boys, 10 percent reported that they seriously considered killing themselves. The results also reveal that 3 percent of boys and 2 percent of girls actually attempted suicide. Among Malden High students, 28 percent said they experienced depression, and 10 percent revealed they engaged in non-suicidal selfharm, which the survey defi ned as “doing something to purposely hurt yourself without wanting to die, such as cutting or burning yourself on purpose.” According to the results, 10 percent of Malden High students seriously considered killing themselves while 5 percent actually attempted suicide. When the percentages are converted to real numbers, the survey reveals that 125 Malden High students reported that they seriously thought about suicide while 63 students actually attempted it. According to the survey, 17 percent of high school students surveyed throughout the country in 2017 reported considering suicide while 7 percent attempted it. A PowerPoint presentation on the survey results, which includes more information on other topics, is available at maldenps.org/school-committee/school-committee-meetings/ under the minutes for the Jan. 7, 2019 School Committee meeting. dine drink gather enjoy THE NORTH SHORE'S HOTTEST NIGHTCLUB! IN THE MUSIC HALL IN THE MUSIC HALL Friday, February 1 Saturday, February 2 With OZZMOSIS - Ozzy Tribute FUNBUCKET IN THE MUSIC HALL Friday, February 8 THE BLACKOUTS IN THE MUSIC HALL Saturday, February 9 PUNCHY & 221 Newbury Street, Danvers For Tickets call (978) 774-7270 or www.breakawaydanvers.com Every kind of job for one kind of person. Exceptional. Encore Boston Harbor is hiring. Explore thousands of fulfilling careers. You deserve an Encore. In accordance with our host and surrounding community agreements, hiring preference is given to properly qualified residents of the cities of (1) Everett, (2) Malden, and (3) Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Medford, and Somerville.

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