Study Analyzes Youth Mental Health in Lehigh Valley | Lehigh Valley regional news

BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania — The Lehigh Valley Justice Institute held a conference Tuesday to present its findings on mental health in schools.

The LVJI said it conducted the study to raise public awareness and develop local solutions to help the mental health of Lehigh Valley youth.

According to the report, two in five young people felt depressed most days in 2021, three in ten were at risk of suicide and one in nine attempted suicide at least once.

Liberty High School has already begun combating the mental health crisis at its school with referrals to the Student-Assistant Program. With this method, students, staff and parents can report to the school if a student is having a hard time. The school can then provide resources to help that student.

The director of the school says the system is already paying off.

“Last year there were more than 700 referrals,” says Liberty High School principal Harrison Bailey.

“And you can see that outcome in that report. And that’s the recognition that our community is starting to understand what this is and what’s happening to our children. And that’s a huge step forward.

“One that we acknowledge it and two that we are willing to admit it.”

The study also shows that Bucks and Chester counties report some of the lowest rates of depression, self-harm and suicide attempts.

Nearly 80 percent of children who receive mental health care receive it at school.

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