US youth mental health worsens during the COVID-19 pandemic
By Li Zhiwei
People's Daily app

Washington (People's Daily) - According a survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday, the mental health of US high school students has gotten worse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, more than a third (37 percent) of high school students experienced poor mental health at least most of the time during the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey showed.

More than two out of five students (44 percent) persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year. About one in five seriously considered suicide, and about one in 10 students had attempted suicide.

Student Quandallis Perry-Fisher, right, works with Tina Walker during a Beyond Basics literacy session at Denby High School in Detroit, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (Photo: AP)

In addition, over a third (36 percent) of students said they experienced racism before or during the COVID-19 pandemic. The highest levels were reported among Asian students (64 percent), Black students and students of multiple races (both 55 percent).

The CDC reported that the survey cannot determine the extent to which events during the pandemic contributed to reported racism. However, experiences of racism among youth have been linked to poor mental health, academic performance, and lifelong health risk behaviors.

“These data echo a cry for help,” said CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director Debra Houry. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created traumatic stressors that have the potential to further erode students’ mental wellbeing.”