Higher Than Average Hopelessness Among Some Springfield, Mass., Students

Jan 22, 2018

A new survey shows that eighth grade students in Springfield, Massachusetts, are more likely to feel hopeless than their counterparts in the rest of the state.

Thirty-one percent of the eighth-graders who responded said they felt sad or hopeless every day for two weeks or more in a row, compared to 20 percent statewide.

The Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts conducted the survey last year.

The nonprofit's executive director, Jessica Collins, said the rates are even higher for some subgroups like LBGTQ students.

"Sixty percent of those students reported that they had felt sad or hopeless, versus 27 percent of students who identify as heterosexual," Collins said.

The survey also found that female students were twice as likely to feel hopeless as male students.

Students who identified as LGBT had more than double the rates of sustained hopelessness compared to heterosexual students. LGBT students also reported high rates of suicide attempts, suicide ideation and self-harm.
Credit Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts

Collins said she wants the new data to help policymakers, parents and behavioral health experts better understand the needs of Springfield's youth.