Education Lab 40% of girls at some CPS schools show signs of PTSD. This program is helping them heal.

Chicago Sun-Times / June 17, 2019
By Manny Ramos

Nearly 40 percent of teen girls attending high schools around Chicago are experiencing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder or other trauma-related distress, preliminary data from a new study shows.

What’s more, about one in four of the 1,500 low-income students surveyed showed signs of depression and anxiety, the University of Chicago’s Urban Labs found.

Students surveyed also experienced at least two traumatic events on average, including being robbed or attacked or witnessing an attack. But the stats are likely worse because those numbers do not include incidents of sex abuse or assault or forms of domestic violence.

“Young girls internalize a lot of these stresses that is happening in their life,” Gail Day, program director of Working on Womanhood, said. “That is why a lot of them are suffering in silence because they feel there is no safe place to talk about it.”

But Day’s program offers some hope in helping young women work through their anxiety, depression or PTSD symptoms, the UChicago study found.

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17 June 2019