Student Mental Health in Decline During 2022–2023 School Year
- By Kate Lucariello
report released this month shows declining student mental health in
K–12 schools during the current school year. These declines are
affecting academic performance, particularly in math and reading
State of Student Mental Health Survey,” conducted by
(Empowering Communities with Integrated Network Systems), was
conducted in December 2022 of 353 U.S. K–12 school social workers,
superintendents, teachers, and counselors. Respondents answered 12
questions anonymously, and the results are concerning, ECINS noted in
its report, which also includes suggestions for tackling the problem.
findings show that respondents “strongly agree” or “agree”
with the following:
84% said adolescent stress, while usually normal, is worse this
school year. It correlates with the IES School
Pulse Panel survey from December 2022 that there are
more frequent “acts of disrespect towards teachers and staff and
declining academic performance.”
89% said math and reading scores have dropped sharply. This also
correlates with NAEP’s 2022 “Long-Term
Trend Assessment” scores for age 9 students, which
declined “5 points in reading and 7 points in mathematics compared
to 2020. This is the largest average score decline in reading since
1990, and the first ever score decline in mathematics,” NAEP said.
70% said students are willing to confide about their mental and
emotional issues with a trusted adult at school.
88% said they wish they had more tools or resources to help
students, and 81% said their school districts do not have the means
to provide that help.
35% said their school has a reporting tool for supporting student
mental health, and only 33% said their school has the technology to
“identify, track, and enhance students’ mental health outcomes.”
findings of our State of Student Mental Health Survey are deeply
concerning and highlight the pressing need for effective solutions to
address the alarming trends in student mental health,” said Gary
Pettengell, co-founder and CEO at ECINS. “Our survey provides
critical insight into the challenges faced by education professionals
and identifies practical solutions to support student recovery and
success. It is time for an all-in approach to help schools provide
the support students need in these challenging times."
technology alone cannot solve the problem of student mental health
challenges, it can make the process of getting students the help they
need more streamlined, ECINS said. It suggests that school districts
acquire “a proven, effective, and documented collaboration process”
that can quickly allow educators and staff to refer students to
support services. Such technology can track students’ progress to
help them overcome their challenges and succeed in school.
read the full report, visit
the download page.
is a provider of student support and case management software, which
allows school personnel to “assess, manage, record, report, and
securely share essential information about students with key
stakeholders across schools and districts — all on one
HIPAA-compliant system.” For more information, visit
the ECINS home page.
About the Author
Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.