Mental and Behavioral Health

In 2019, youth in Naugatuck participated in a survey conducted by the Search Institute. 

Among the respondents: 

All youth survey data in this report is from responses to the Search Institute’s “Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes & Behaviors.” The survey focuses on the lives of young people and their attitudes and behaviors towards substances and mental health. The results are important to Naugatuck Youth Services, Step Up Naugy, educators, town officials, key stakeholders, parents and others because they indicate areas for the community to focus on in order to support young people in staying safe and healthy.

Suicide risks among Naugatuck youth are roughly in line with U.S. youth as a whole. 

A nationwide survey of high school students found similar risk prevalences to what was reported among Naugatuck youth: 16% of American students reported seriously considering suicide, 13% reported creating a plan, and 8% reporting trying to take their own life in the 12 months preceding the survey.

945 youth answered this question.

Almost 41% of high school students reported having felt sadness or hopelessness.

According to the CDC, feeling hopeless is one of several important risk factors associated with suicide. In Connecticut and nationally, surveys indicate that youth are increasingly experiencing depression and other mental health conditions, as well as are at risk for suicide attempts.

In Connecticut 27% of high school students, and in the US 31.5% of high school students, reported experiencing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness during the 12 months before the survey (2017 YRBS). From 2007 to 2017, reported rates and increased significantly.

Academics are the biggest source of everyday stress for youth.

In 2018, 34% of youth found high/extreme stress from academics. In 2019, this percent increased with 40% of youth experiencing high/extreme stress from academics.

It is critical that youth learn to recognize their stress and develop coping skills to take ensure meaningful steps to building their resilience.

Nearly a fifth of the survey sample said they had no adult in their lives they could approach for help.

Just as hopeless feelings are a major risk factor for suicide, "connectedness"—that is, family and community support—can be a major protective factor against suicidal thoughts and behaviors, according to the CDC.  

Additional Resources

• CDC: Suicide: Risk and Protective Factors

• Naugatuck Youth Services: Network for Good

Suicide Statistics in New Haven County