Nearly 57 percent of Stark County students surveyed feel lonely

More than 15,000 students in grades seventh through 12th participated in the survey, which included questions about social media use, mental health, friendships, life experiences, and suicide attempts.

Nearly 57 percent of Stark County students surveyed feel lonely
More than 15,000 students in grades seventh through 12th participated in the survey, which included questions about social media use, mental health, friendships, life experiences, and suicide attempts.

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Stark County Health Department released results of a school-based survey that was conducted after 12 middle and high school students committed suicide between Aug. 2017 and March 2018.

The survey will provide county, school, and community officials input on how to prevent and respond to factors associated with suicide among Stark County youth.

More than 15,000 students in grades seventh through 12th participated in the survey, which included questions about social media use, mental health, friendships, life experiences, and suicide attempts.

Key findings:

  • 56.9 percent of participating 7-12th graders feel lonely 
  • 28.7 percent of participating 7-12th graders feel hopeless 
  • Nearly 14 percent of participating Stark County students who have ever attempted suicide have access to a gun 
  • Risk of suicide is significantly higher among adolescents who use social media for two hours or more each day 
  • 59.5 percent of participating 7-12th graders have high levels of resiliency (adapts well) 

The suicide rate in Stark County during that time span was more than seven times the national rate.

“The report emphasizes the importance of continuing the unprecedented collaboration in developing and enhancing youth suicide prevention strategies,” said Kirk Norris, Health Commissioner for the Stark County Health Department. “These findings will be used to enhance our youth suicide prevention practices.”

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