IDS Emphasizes Pattern Difficulties of Youth with Behavioral Health Needs

Behavioral Health Needs and School Success is a collaborative report released by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the Research and Data Analysis Division (RDA). This study explores the complicated relationships between behavioral health, risk factors related to social and health service needs, and high school outcomes for 28,922 DSHS clients who began ninth grade in 2005-2006. Results from this report show that youth with behavioral health needs were less likely to graduate on time in comparison to youth who did not suffer from these needs. In regard to high school progress, youth with behavioral health needs also exhibited poor test outcomes. These patterns indicate that academic difficulties began at an early age. Students with behavioral health needs were also associated with educational failure and were often found to live in unstable family situations, including abuse, neglect, and differing levels of poverty. This report demonstrates the pivotal role of integrated data in terms of revealing patterns of youth living with behavioral health needs.

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