The latest statewide survey of Minnesota students shows what officials call disturbing increases in those reporting mental health, emotional or behavioral problems — 23 percent this year, compared to 18 percent three years ago. Doctor Courtney Jordan Baechler with the state Health Department says numbers for female students are even more concerning: 35 percent reported mental health problems in the latest survey — more than double the 2013 figure. “Housing and financial [in]stability… can lead to long-term toxic stress. We’re hearing more and more about bullying and social isolation, and we’re also always concerned about the ongoing variety of ways that folks are connecting on the Internet.”
Nearly one-quarter of Minnesota 11th-graders reported seriously considering suicide at some point in their lives, while nearly one-in-ten said they actually attempted it. Those figures are three to four times higher for LGBTQ students. Jordan Baechler says students who feel supported at school are much less likely to consider suicide. She says the numbers highlight the need to have inclusive environments for everyone.