April 1, 2022 — Many American teenagers reported mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a , the CDC said. While health and public officials debated whether schools should remain open during the pandemic, the CDC said schools “are crucial partners in supporting the health and wellbeing of students.”
“School connectedness is a key to addressing youth adversities at all times – especially during times of severe disruptions,” Kathleen A. Ethier, PhD, director of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, said in the release. “Students need our support now more than ever, whether by making sure that their schools are inclusive and safe or by providing opportunities to engage in their communities and be mentored by supportive adults.”
Previous surveys on teen mental health showed an increase in problems even before the pandemic hit. The percentage of teenagers saying they had persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness rose from 26% in 2009 to 37% in 2019. The new survey had 44% saying they felt that way in 2021.
One in 5 High School Students Don’t Identify as Heterosexual, CDC says
About 22.5% of high school students questioned about their sexual orientation in the Adolescent Behaviors and Experiences Survey didn’t identify as heterosexual.
The CDC said 77.5% of respondents identified as heterosexual; 13.2% as gay, lesbian, or bisexual; and 9.3% as other or questioning.
Biden Marks Transgender Visibility Day With New Policies
New training for educators to help transgender and nonbinary students overcome challenges was among the initiatives the Biden Administration announced Thursday for Transgender Day of Visibility.
Among the other policy changes, U.S. citizens will be able to put “X” for their gender classification on passport applications, and the Transportation Security Administration will update body scanners to reduce pat-downs for airline travelers.
“To everyone celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility, I want you to know that your president sees you,” Biden said in a recorded message, according to The Washington Post. “Our entire administration sees you for who you are – made in the image of God deserving of dignity, respect, and support.”