High school students smoke and drink less
Earlier this year, 1,290 upper secondary school students took part in a quantitative survey on mental health, general health, screen time and drug use.
This was a follow-up on a similar survey covering the same cohort conducted in 2021.
The results reveal that fewer students now say they smoke, drink and have done illegal drugs, compared to those surveyed in 2021.
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The number of smokers dropped from 10 percent in 2021 to 6 percent in 2023. About 80 percent surveyed in 2021 said they had tried alcohol.
This figure has now dropped to 75 percent. The number of respondents who said they had tried illegal drugs went down from 26 percent in 2021 to 22 percent in 2023.
“These figures are interesting because we hear that sales of tobacco products, alcohol and illegal drugs are on the rise. But according to our survey, this increase is not reflected among our high school students,” says teacher Christian Joensen, who co-authored the survey.
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The survey also found an increase in students who say they do not participate in sports. This number went up from 12 percent in 2021 to 19 percent this year.
In the 2021 survey, 51 percent reported being addicted to screens. This figure has now reached 63 percent.
“One-third of the respondents said they regularly browse non-educational content on their phones in the classroom and while doing homework,” says Joensen.
“The students reported that they spend an average of 7.8 hours per day browsing non-educational content on their phones.”
A survey from 2017 looking at the mental health of Faroese high school students found that about 51 percent experienced mental health issues.
This figure dropped down to 47 percent in the 2021 survey, and this year’s report had a similar figure.
According to the latest report, this decrease may be due to recent mental health initiatives for young people, including campaigns by the Public Health Board and free psychological counselling in schools.
Read the survey report (in Faroese only) here.
Read the Faroese version of this article here.
More Faroese News in English.