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Outcome: Socially and Emotionally Healthy and Safe

% of children and youth who report being unhappy, depressed, anxious or stressed

18% of Austin ISD high school students and 11% of middle school students continue to miss school because they feel too sad or depressed to attend

Significance of Indicator: Depressed youth are more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors, including drug use and risky sexual activity, attempt suicide, run away from home, and are less likely to succeed in school.

How we are doing on this Indicator:The only local data for this indicator is from the annual Austin ISD (AISD) Student Substance Use and Safety Survey: "How good is your ability to cope with stress and negative emotions?" and "During the last month, did you miss one or more school days due to any of the following reasons? Felt too sad or depressed to attend."

In 2014-2015, 18% of high school students and 11% of middle school students reported that they felt too sad or depressed to attend school for one or more days in the past month. The percentage is unchanged for high school students and decreased by 1% for middle school students.

In 2014-2015, 20% percent of middle school students in AISD reported that their ability to cope with stress or negative emotions was poor or very poor, a 3% increase from the year before. The rate for high school students increased from 19% to 23%.

what the data tell us

Percentage of Students in AISD Who Missed School Because They Felt Too Sad or Depressed to Attend

Click on the graph to download an Excel document containing expanded information.

Definition: % of students reporting that they missed one or more school days during the last month because they "Felt too sad or depressed to attend."

Data Source: Austin Independent School District, Student Substance Use and Safety Surveys, 2010-2015

AISD Students Rating Their Ability to Cope with Stress and Negative Emotions

Definition: % of students responding to the following question: "How good is your ability to cope with stress and negative emotions?"

Data Source: Austin Independent School District, Student Substance Use and Safety Surveys, 2009-2015

Data Considerations: A high percentage of students responding to the survey report that they "don't know" how good their ability is to cope with stress and negative emotions. The data reported in this survey is not directly comparable to data reported for other demographic regions

Click on a graph to download an Excel document containing expanded information.

The Story Behind the Indicator

National and State Data

National data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS, 2012) indicate that 28.5% of high school students felt sad or hopeless almost every day for 2 or more weeks in a row so that they stopped doing some usual activities in the 12 months before the survey. The rates differ significantly by gender: 36.9 % of girls and 22% of boys report feeling sad or hopeless.

Statewide data for Texas indicate 29.2% of high school students felt sad or depressed. The prevalence rate for Texas does not differ significantly from the national rate.

Therefore, we need to assume that the percentage of children in Austin ISD who are sad, happy, or depressed is likely higher than our limited local data indicates and we need to be cognizant of increased vulnerability among girls and specific risk groups.

Higher risk for adolescent depression occurs among the following groups:

Some Local Efforts to Improve this Indicator

Training

Prevention

Screening

Services

Recommendations

Additional Data

 

Contributors for this indicator

The Child and Youth Mental Health Planning Partnership; compiled by Barbara Ball, SafePlace.