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40% of Framingham Female Teens and 37% of Seniors Say Life is Stressful

Twenty-two percent of Framingham High students, who identify themselves as bisexual, gay or lesbian, considered suicide and 43 percent participated in self injury activities, according to a MetroWest health survey

Credit: Courtesy
Credit: Courtesy
Framingham High (and middle school) students are stressed.

According to the latest MetroWest Health Foundation's MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey 14.8 percent of Framingham middle school students and 29.4 percent of Framingham High students said that life was stressful in the last 30 days.

Students in grades 7-12 took the survey in October 2012. The Foundation has done the survey every other year since 2006. Results were released earlier this year.

Monday night, four Framingham High juniors and one senior presented the results to parents as part of a special presentation titled the "Not So Secret Life of the Framingham Teen." 

The teen, who are all part of the peer leadership program at the high school,, told the audience of about 40-50 parents they have to remember students get stressed and it gets worse as the high school years progress.

According to the survey, which the juniors on the panel took as freshmen, 6 percent of Framingham High students have attempted suicide in the last 12 months. Across MetroWest - 26 communities participate in the survey - 5 percent of high school teens had attempted suicide in the last 12 months.

"The average class at Framingham High is 20 students. It is crazy to think that 1-2 students per class consider suicide," said Framingham High junior and peer leader Andre Gonzaga.

But suicide attempts were not the only ways students were dealing with stress.

  • 18 percent of Framingham High students participated in self injury activities
  • 15 percent considered suicide
  • 25 percent had depression symptoms
Students, who identify themselves as bisexual, gay or lesbian, were even more likely to participate in self injury activities or consider suicide, according to the survey.

  • 22 percent of Framingham High students, who identify themselves as bisexual, gay or lesbian, considered suicide, according to the 2012 survey
  • 43 percent participated in self injury activities
Framingham High junior Victoria Mescall said when she first saw he suicide statistics from the survey she stood there reading them with her mouth wide open, as she was very surprised by the numbers.

The five students, including Mescall, Gonzaga, senior Sabetha Lafontant and juniors Morgan Viall and Ramsey Malieswski, also presented survey results on cyberbullying, alcohol and drug use and sexual behavior. 

Editor's Note: Framingham Patch plans to post reports on those topics later this month. This report is focused on the mental health results of the survey.

Monday night's meeting was the first part of a two-part forum on the survey results.

On June 9, there will be round table discussion in which parents, school staff and the community will be asked to participate on how to deal with the results. The meeting will be held in room H100 at the high school from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

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