The Wisconsin Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) had some sobering statistics about teen mental health, including that:

  • More than half of all students self-reported “significant problems with anxiety,” with 80.5 percent of students who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual and 66.2 percent of female students reporting anxiety.
  • Over one third of students surveyed reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for more than two weeks in a row (the highest rate since the YRBS was first administered).
  • 18 percent of all students seriously considered suicide in the past twelve months (and nearly half of all lesbian, gay, and bi students)
  • In all areas, several categories of students not only reported experiencing greater challenges, they also reported having fewer supports..
  • The DPI summary is worth looking at more closely!

What does this mean for us for programs, collections, relationships, and connections??  I am guessing it might mean a lot.  I’d love to hear what you have been thinking about and doing in this regard, or hear what has been tricky about it.  Let’s talk about it!


Quick Guide to Checking In with Teens about Their Mental Health from DPI is really useful!

If you have more time, consider taking a QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) course about suicide prevention (about 2 hours) or Youth Mental Health First Aid Course (6-8 hours).