Washington County Public Health and local schools release student survey report

“The youth of this area are amazing and full of potential.”

“Understand that sex, drugs and alcohol flood our everyday lives no matter what we do to try to escape them.”

These words from youth in Washington County are some of the thoughts captured in the new booklet, “Putting the Pieces Together for Washington County Youth: Results of the 2004 Minnesota Student Survey and Conversations with Our Youth.” The booklet is a joint effort by the Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment and the following school districts in Washington County: Forest Lake, Mahtomedi, North St. Paul/Maplewood/Oakdale, South Washington County and Stillwater.

The booklet was developed in the fall of 2005 in an effort to provide youth, parents, schools and communities with information about issues vital to the health, safety and academic success of youth. It reports results of the 2004 Minnesota Student Survey, focus group information from local youth in Washington County conducted in the spring of 2005 and information from a review of research on adolescent health.

The booklet outlines trends identified by the 2004 Student Survey in the following areas: mental health including depression and suicide; alcohol; tobacco and other drug use; drinking and driving; seatbelt use; physical activity; healthy eating; and sexual activity. In addition, the booklet includes information on risk and protective factors, thoughts from youth about the challenges they face and how parents, schools and communities can support youth in Washington County.

A presentation on these results, additional information and copies of the booklet are available by calling the Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment at 430-6655. For a downloadable copy of the document, go to www.co.washington. mn.us and click on Public Health and Environment, Publications/ Newsletters.

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