To the Editor:
The results of last year’s Stanford Challenge Success survey of student experiences at Princeton High School are alarming:
Forty-seven percent of students reported that a stress-related health or emotional problem caused them to miss more than one day of school.
Fifty-six percent reported that a stress-related health or emotional problem caused them to miss a social, extracurricular, or recreational activity more than once in the past month.
Sixty-one percent of students surveyed experienced stress induced headaches, and 33 percent reported difficulty breathing in the past month
These statistics, and what they indicate about the imperiled health and well-being of our young people, are a concern not just for our schools, but our whole community.
Earlier this year, Corner House brought together other representatives from the municipal government, local public and private schools, Princeton University, Trinity Counseling, and student members of Princeton’s Youth Advisory Committee to form the Mayor’s Task Force on Teen Stress. The goal of the task force is to engage parents and other community partners in supporting and complementing the schools’ efforts to tackle this health challenge.
As a first step, members of the Youth Advisory Committee have assembled a Teen Stress Resource Guide, a suggested reading list for parents, adults, and teens. This list contains book recommendations and links to online articles to better inform parents and aid in family conversation. The guide can be found on the town’s website: www.princetonnj.gov.
I invite all members of the community to support the teens of Princeton by learning more about the stressors affecting their health and well-being, and please stay tuned for more ways to engage throughout 2018.