In spring 2019, the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) administered the Philadelphia YRBS to a random sample of high school students at 25 randomly selected District schools. This report analyzes student responses to four questions related to mental health and suicide that were asked on the 2019 Philadelphia YRBS.
Key findings include:
- Philadelphia students responded more negatively to questions about mental health and suicide in 2019 than in 2017.
- Multi-Racial, Hispanic/Latino, and Black/African American students responded more negatively to questions about mental health and suicide than White and Asian students.
- Students in 9th and 10th grade responded more negatively than 11th- and 12th-graders.
- Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) students responded more negatively to all four mental health and suicide questions than heterosexual students.
- Consistent with existing literature, food insecurity was also strongly associated with feeling sad or hopeless, considering suicide, and planning suicide.
- For female students, both in-school and cyberbullying were consistent and strong risk factors for feeling sad/hopeless and considering, planning, and attempting suicide.
- For male students, cyberbullying was a strong risk factor for poor mental health. Being physically active and sleeping more than eight hours were associated with a reduced risk of attempting suicide.
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