CHKS Survey Results – Why Are They So Alarming?

March 16, 2016

The California Healthy Kids Survey “(CHKS”) is administrated to all students in the Tamalpais Unified High School District (“District”) every other year.  The latest results are for the 2013-14 school year and are alarming, especially when compared to the state CHKS data aggregated from the 2011-13 school years.  

  • Redwood  HS-specific CHKS results

  • District-wide (Tam, Drake and Redwood combined) CHKS Results 


NOTE:  the District numbers DO NOT include San Andreas or Tamsical HS students. High Rates of Emotional/Mental Health Issues among Redwood Students.

The most recent CHKS data indicates alarming rates among our teens of depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

  • 26% of RHS 9th graders and 35% of RHS 11th graders report “chronic sad or hopeless feelings” in the past year (defined as being “so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more that you stopped doing some usual activities”.)  

  • These feelings are much higher among girls:  37% of female District 9th graders vs. 16 % of District male 9th graders and 41% of District female 11th graders vs. 26% of District male 11th graders report “chronic sad or hopeless feelings” in the past year.

  • 17% of RHS 9th graders and 21% of RHS 11 graders report they have “seriously considered attempting suicide”.  This compares to 12% of 9th and 11th graders in the Palo Alto Unified School District — which has seen two major “clusters” of suicides over the past several years.  These clusters were chronicled in a recent Atlantic Monthly article at http://theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/12/the-silicon-valley-suicides/413140/.

  • 6% of District 9th graders and 11% of District 11th graders report that they have actually “attempted suicide”.

  • 23% of District 9th graders and 26% of District 11th graders reported self-harming themselves (defined as “intentionally cut, burned or scratched yourself”).


Redwood and District Students are Drinking at Higher Rates than Other Teens in CA  – and there is a Significant Jump between 9th and 11th Grade

  • 29% of RHS 9th graders and 52% of RHS 11th graders have used alcohol in the past month (compared to CA state averages of 20% and 33% for 9th and 11th graders, respectively.)

  • 14% of RHS 9th graders and 38% of RHS 11th graders have engaged in binge drinking(defined as having 5 or more drinks in a row) in the past month (compared to CA state averages of 11% and 22%)

  • 12% of RHS 9th graders and 34% of RHS 11th graders report getting “very drunk or high” 7 or more times in their lifetime.

  • 13% of District 9th graders and 28% of District 11th graders reported they have driven a car when they had been drinking or been in a car driven by a friend who had been drinking.  This is unacceptable.

What is striking is that PARENTS DON’T KNOW THEIR TEENS ARE DRINKING OR DRINKING AND DRIVING: According to a 2014 Marin County Parent Norms Survey, 85% of parents DO NOT think their high school student is drinking.

Redwood and District Students are Using Marijuana and Other Drugs at Higher Rates than Other Teens in CA, especially in the upper grades.

  • 20% of District 9th graders and 39% of 11th graders report having used marijuana in the past month (compared to CA state averages of 15% and 24%)

  • 30% of District 9th graders and 60% of District 11th graders have used marijuana one or more times in the past year (compared to CA state averages of 26% and 45%).

  • 49% of District 9th graders and 77% of District 11th graders have used alcohol, marijuana, inhalants, cocaine, meth, ecstasy, LSD or other non-prescribed drugs to get high.


Redwood and District Students are Drunk or High AT School

  • 9% of 9th graders and 33% of 11th graders reported having been drunk or high at school (compared to CA state averages of 13% and 24%).


District Students Didn’t Know Where to Get Help – And Now They Can at the Wellness Center
Underscoring the need for Wellness Centers, over 50% of students said they “don’t know” if help is available or think help is “not likely available” at school to help them reduce their use of alcohol or other drugs.

 

 

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