Best of the Week 2021-2022: Teaching to the Future


In partnership with researchers at Case Western Reserve University, St. Ed's administered a Youth Risk Behavior Survey to all students through their Theology courses this week. With a focus on mental health and taking a proactive approach to targeting the needs of our community, the results of this Youth Risk Behavior Survey will help St. Ed's better understand how we can support our students' wellness and mental health. Sponsored by the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey asks students a variety of questions on nutrition, physical activity, injuries, tobacco and alcohol use, sexual activity and other health behaviors. "Students pointed out how specific questions on the survey, from their access to guns, how often they eat potatoes that are not processed, to the number of cars the family owns, were interesting or curious to them," says Theology Department Chair Chris Merriman. "We discussed how these questions could be answered in very different ways based on each individual's background. Hopefully this made them think about their own lives and experiences in light of others'. The student body has a more diverse life experience than they may realize. Students don't always have a good sense of the diverse experiences and circumstances that exist within our own community, let alone in the greater northeast Ohio region. This survey and more frequent discussions could lead to a better understanding of the kinds of health, safety, and wellness challenges that students in our community face, as well as helping our students think about their own lives in a new light." With the results from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, St. Ed's can better shape our school's health programming, outreach initiatives, and resources offered to support our students and to meet their health needs.