KCTC Survey Reports Drop In Clay County Student’s Substance Use, Rise In Mental Health Issues

By Quinn O’Hara

The Kansas Communities That Care organization recently released the 2024 results of their yearly surveys.

The surveys are taken by 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students in each Kansas County and ask students about several topics such as alcohol and substance use, how safe they feel at school, and how they feel about their community.

86% of Clay County Students participated in the 2024 survey. 4% of Clay County students reported consuming alcohol within the previous 30 days of taking the survey, compared to 7.5% statewide. The number of Clay County students who consumed alcohol was nearly halved since 2023’s study, which tallied at 7.8% of students.

The number of Clay County students who vape has also fallen significantly. Just 3.7% of students reported vaping within the past 30 days in 2024, compared to 8.4%, or 2.1% more than the statewide average, in 2023

However, Clay County students reported having more thoughts of suicide 2024. 34.6% of 6th and 8th graders combined reported having serious thoughts of suicide, and 36.5% of 10th and 12th graders combined reported having serious thoughts of suicide. Both of these numbers are significantly higher than the statewide average.

15.8% of Clay County students also reported feeling unsafe at school in 2024- up from 12.4% in 2023 and 11.3% in 2022.

These results will provide vital statistics to community organizations and grant writers who use the data to inform their decisions and apply for grants.

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