What are the rates of suicidal ideation for teens in Beverly Hills?
What percentage of high school teens in Beverly Hills use drugs?
We have the answers.
Every year, the California Department of Education Coordinated School Health and Safety Office administers a survey to public school students in school districts across the state. This annual survey – the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) – is anonymous and confidential. The survey asks students about safety and crime at school, experiences of bullying, academics, mental health, substance use, and more. It also asks how connected they feel to their families and to their school staff. The organization releases the results to the public in November of the following school year.
The most recent CHKS report for the Beverly Hills Unified School District contains data on the 2017-2018 academic year. Students in grades nine and eleven at Beverly Hills High School filled out the self-report surveys.
Here are their answers:
Beverly Hills High School Students – Mental Health and Substance Use Statistics, Percentages
|9th Grade||11th Grade|
|Been drunk or “high” on drugs at school, ever||5||10|
|Current alcohol or drug use*||13||31|
|Current binge drinking*||4||10|
|Very drunk or “high” 7 or more times, ever||4||18|
|Current cigarette smoking*||1||2|
|Current electronic cigarette use*||11||18|
|Experienced chronic sadness/hopelessness§||27||31|
Analyzing the Data
According to this data, the most concerning issues for Beverly Hills youth today are current substance use and chronic sadness/hopelessness. More than 30 percent of high school juniors admit to using substances within the past 30 days. The same percentage of students report experiencing unrelenting sadness and hopelessness for at least two weeks straight in the past year – which is a symptom of clinical depression.
Additionally, rates of substance use jump dramatically as students rise through grade levels. Juniors were twice as likely to use alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes as high school freshmen. Juniors were also twice as likely to smoke and binge-drink, and they were four times as likely to get very drunk or high at school multiple times.
The one statistic that remained consistent throughout both grades was suicidal ideation: 16 percent of freshmen and juniors reported seriously considering suicide within the past year.
Teen Suicide Prevention in Beverly Hills
ABC News reported that Beverly Hills High School underwent a three-day intensive “Signs of Suicide” program, or SOS, in 2018. Mental health professionals from the Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills came to the school to train staff on spotting suicide red flags. Freshmen also received suicide awareness education. Staff offered mental health counseling to each student. Additionally, many students at Beverly Hills High volunteer at Teen Line, a peer-to-peer suicide prevention hotline based at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Parents, school administrators, teachers – and the students themselves, first and foremost – hope this robust response will benefit the physical and emotional wellbeing of Beverly Hills teens in the years to come. Evidence shows that awareness, peer support, and professional help all make a difference: if teens in Beverly Hills take advantage of these new supports, then the chances are they can learn to help themselves and others manage the emotional challenges of adolescence.