Teenage girls experiencing record high levels of sadness, violence and trauma


In 2021, the CDC saw an increase in mental health challenges across the board, but it’s girls in the U.S. that are engulfed in a wave of sadness, violence and trauma. Nearly three in five reported feeling persistent sadness and hopelessness, 25% of girls reported having made a suicide plan and 14% reported having been forced to have sex. Source; PBS

For a transcript of this story, click here.


  • What organization recently produced a new report on teen mental health?
  • When did the CDC conduct its research on teen mental health?
  • How long has there been a concerning rise in reported youth mental health concerns?
  • Who is interviewed for this story?
  • Why is the spike in mental health concern discussed in this story be happening?


Why do you think mental health has been an increasingly difficult struggle for many teens, particularly girls, over the last 10 years? What do you think could be done about the problem?

Media literacy: Who else do you think the producers of this show could speak with to better understand teen depression and mental health struggles?

Alternative: See, Think, Wonder: What did you notice? What did the story make you think? What story would you want to find out more about? Where would you go to learn more?


What students can do: Understand the report. You can look through the entire CDC report here. Then discuss — what surprised you? What did you think was important in the report that wasn’t mentioned in the story?

• You can also listen to the following podcast on teen mental health called On Our Minds, from Student Reporting Labs. The episode below is on how to start a conversation on mental health. More episodes are available here.

I would love to hear from you