Survey of County Teens Finds Good News & Concerns

Survey of County Teens Finds Good News & Concerns

Results of a 2018 survey focusing on the healthy decisions of more than 1,800 Vermilion County high school students are out.  The bi-annual report from the I Sing the Body Electric Program were released at OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville.

Stacy Sprague, Director of the program, says the students were rated on top health concerns in a variety of areas – including alcohol use, drinking and driving, depression and/or suicide, teen pregnancy, body image, nutrition and others.  And what did the survey findings show are now the top concerns?

Sprague says there was improvement in other areas….

The I Sing The Body Electric Program is sponsored by OSF HealthCare.  It involves students using their artwork to try to convince other students to make healthy decisions.

Some results from the survey showed these improvements from when the first ISBE survey was taken in 2002:

  • There was a 48.4 percent decrease in youth who rode with someone who had been drinking alcohol.
  • There was a 40.5 percent decrease in high school students who had at least one alcoholic drink within the past 30 days.
  • 6% of the teens have had at least one drink of alcohol in their lives.
  • There was a 76.6 percent decrease in ‘current’ tobacco users compared to the first survey.

Some other results:

  • 3% fewer students reported they are currently using marijuana compared to the 2016 survey.
  • 1% of Vermilion County high school students taking the survey reported using cocaine within the past year – the lowest amount in the ISBE survey history.
  • Nearly four out of ten teens (39.5%) reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more. It represents a 42% increase since 2016.
  • 4 % of the Vermilion County teens taking the survey said they had attempted suicide at least once during the past year—nearly double the national average.
  • Nearly two out of five students (38.5%) report they were bullied on school property in the past 12 months.
  • 6% of the teens have been pregnant or fathered a child one or more times – a 10-percent increase since 2016.
  • 5% of the Vermilion County teens said they had been physically forced to have sexual intercourse. It was the highest number in the survey’s history – and a 30.6 percent increase from 2016.
  • 22% of the teens responding to the survey said they have cut or harmed themselves on purpose within the past 12 months. The number represents an 8.4% increase from the last survey in 2016.

     The survey results are used by various agencies around the county to know what areas they need to address.  The figures also help those agencies in their efforts to secure state and federal grants to help address the problems.