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IDAHO: Business study shows mental health issues in students; 'emerging issue'

June 30, 2019, Coeur d'Alene (ID) Press: Study says mental health problems among issues plaguing Idaho Students BOISE — Hewlett Packard and Idaho Business for Education recently released the initial results from a huge, five-month study of education and the economy in Idaho, with recommendations ranging from focusing on early literacy to dealing with mental health issues in Idaho schools that are detracting from teaching and college and career counseling. HP funded the study, brought in experts and contacted 2,000 Idahoans through surveys, focus groups, interviews and more over the course of five months. The reason: They say they are part of Idaho’s future and want an educated workforce here. … The study’s top five recommendations: …Addressing mental health issues that are affecting Idaho schools. “This is an emerging issue that’s getting worse,” Schmedlen said. They turned up in an array of different environments across the state, from angst-ridden students at high-performing schools to serious unaddressed needs in rural areas. Marcela Escobari, an economist with the Brookings Institution who took part in the study, said people in Idaho were well aware of the numbers, including the state’s high suicide rate. Researchers were struck, she said, by “how pervasive it was across socio-economic levels … and the bandwidth it took from teachers.” The study will go to Gov. Brad Little’s education improvement task force; the governor, state schools superintendent and other officials have already been briefed on it. The final report will be published in August, and all its data turned over to an Idaho research institution so it can be utilized in future studies to show trends. …


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