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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Report uncovers trends in TN youth mental health crisis

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Wednesday, November 15, 2023   

More young people in Tennessee are experiencing poor mental health and symptoms of depression, and suicide attempts have been trending upward.

According to the latest report by The Sycamore Institute, in 2021, nearly one in four Tennessee high schoolers had considered suicide.

Brian Straessle, executive director of the institute, said the report revealed many young Tennesseans are having mental health challenges in some form and more must be done to help them.

"Some of the most recent data from 2021, I think it was about 30% of high school students said that they had experienced some days with poor mental health over the past month," Straessle reported. "And 40% said that they had experienced some symptoms of depression over the prior year."

Straessle explained the report is the first of three to be published over the next year, all with a Tennessee focus. The next will cover existing resources and services, and the third will highlight potential policy solutions.

If you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or the Crisis Text Line, by texting the word "HELLO" to 741741.

According to Straessle, the report showed a gender disparity, with high school girls in particular reporting higher instances of poor mental health and symptoms of depression, compared to boys. However, he said the data show boys are more likely to act on their feelings.

"When you're looking at suicides and suicide attempts or considering having suicidal thoughts, and then also death by suicide, it was much more frequent among young men," Straessle explained.

The Institute holds a virtual briefing today with a panel discussion about the latest research, prevention and resources for mental health concerns in young people.


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