Monday, March 27, 2023

Student survey shows need for mental health support in Southington


SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) – The Town of Southington has released part of its findings in its bi-yearly survey of middle school and high school students.

The commission is still reviewing the data, but it already has a strong idea of the need for mental health support and education.

Students in 7th, 9th and 11th grade answered survey questions in February.

Mental health is part of the 40 developmental assets addressed in the questions.

This survey is designed to find out what the students are thinking about, and dealing with as they grow and develop through their teens.

The mental health components ask for response to questions dealing with mental outlook, emotions and actions.

It’s not meant as an any indictment on parents, it’s designed to get to feelings, and provide outlets and resources that can help students deal with issues.

Deputy Chief Bill Palmieri is happy to report that the students taking the survey understand its value.

Coming up with new resources, designing new programs is key to the long-term future of helping students not only survive but eventually thrive in an adult lifestyle.

There is a lot of data to decipher, and some numbers are troubling, like the 17-percent of those high school juniors who say they have tried to commit suicide.

But the committee believes knowing the scary and dangerous information makes it a little easier to understand what needs to be done to reduce the numbers in the future.

That type of future planning is exactly what many Southington parents are hoping for.

The survey is done every 2 years, and this council that STEP has created is made up of 32 members of the Southington Community from commerce to culture.

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