OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health has released a survey on the health and behavior of Oklahoma high school students.

According to OSDH, the survey shows a 50% decrease in teens that have ever tried cigarette smoking and a 20% decrease in teens who texted or emailed while driving. Just under half of the students surveyed reported signs of depression last year.

“We know that the pandemic added to mental health struggles facing Oklahoma students,” said Joyce Marshall, the Director of the Maternal and Child Health Service for OSDH. “This data helps shed light on areas where we need to provide more resources and programs for youth and their parents, and areas where we are having a real impact.”

The Oklahoma Youth Behavior Risk Survey (YRBS) is a survey to assess the health behavior of public high school students and plays an important role in understanding the needs and health status of young people in Oklahoma.

“The survey monitors a wide range of important indicators, such as, injury and violence, tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, sexual behaviors, diet and physical activity, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs),” said Alicia Lincoln, Child & Adolescent Health Administrative Programs Manager for OSDH.