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The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

The Kids Are Alright, Mostly

Martin Dimitrov
The 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows mostly positive trends for Vermont teens.

Every two years, the Health Department conducts a Youth Risk Behavior Survey to look at issues like drinking, teen pregnancy, depression. The new data from 2015 shows improvements in many, but not all, teen health indicators.

The Health Department says that fewer Vermont youth are misusing prescription drugs, rates of smoking cigarettes and binge drinking alcohol are both down, and fewer high school students are overweight. But the survey reveals areas of significant concern in mental health: it shows that 18 percent of Vermont middle school students seriously considered suicide, and that 20 percent of middle school students were sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks, a number that increased from the last survey in 2013.  Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen joins us to look at the results of the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, and how policy and social attitudes align to improve the health of Vermont teens.

Also in the program, an election politics check-in. We look at how Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders did in Tuesday's Democratic primaries in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and Missouri.  We talk with political scientist Megan Remmel of Norwich University.

Broadcast live on Wed., March 16, 2016, at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.