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Friday Facts: Students with Depression-Related Feelings in Fresno County

Friday Facts: Students with Depression-Related Feelings in Fresno County

Welcome to Friday Facts! Each week we'll be taking a look at a specific chart from the Data & Resources section of our website. This week we're focusing on students reporting depression-related feelings in Fresno County.

We have been talking a lot about mental health recently. If you’ve been following the blog this week, you will have seen that we hosted two town hall meetings, one in Fresno and the other in Oakland, to discuss the California Reducing Disparities Project’s (CRDP) draft Statewide Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities. These events have generated great discussion and a number of comments that we will be incorporating into the final plan after the ongoing public comment period ends on February 17th.

While we have talked so much about the strategic plan in this space, we haven’t focused on some of the actual mental health needs that it will address. So, for this Friday Facts, we are going to look at a chart representing the percentage of students experiencing depression-related feelings in Fresno County. As you can see, at least 1 in 4 students in each racial/ethnic group have reported experiencing depression-related feelings in the last year. There are some noticeable disparities, as Pacific Islanders (nearly half), Asians, and Latinos reported experiencing depression-related feelings at higher rates. But it is clear that this particular issue impacts all communities.

The draft strategic plan places an emphasis on improving mental health services in schools. One of the strategies (on page 20) promotes using public schools to provide mental health services:

“The state’s public schools can be a valuable asset when developing ways to improve mental health in children and adolescents by adequately screening, detecting, and diagnosing potential mental health issues. Schools are a safe setting where children go almost every day and can be used to educate youth and their families about mental health, and provide interventions to decrease the risk of incarceration, drug use, and mental illness. Schools can also be used as portals to help adolescents access prevention and early intervention programs in their communities.”

This is one of many suggestions in the strategic plan. If you would like to read the strategic plan and submit your own comments, please download it from our website. We have three town hall meetings coming up in the next few weeks, and you can still register for San Diego on February 4th, Los Angeles on February 5th, and Eureka on February 17th.

If you work in Fresno and are working with students on mental health issues, please share some resources in the comments.

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