Calling all parents: participation needed from Summit County for SHARP Survey

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — The Student Health and Risk Prevention (SHARP) Survey administered to Utah’s 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th-grade students in early March allows districts, organizations, and communities to identify the strengths and needs of local youth. The SHARP survey is funded by the Utah Department of Health and Human Services and needs parental consent by February 24 in order to collect crucial data.

The two questionnaires, the Prevention Needs Assessment Survey (focusing on grades 6, 8, 10, and 12) and Youth Risk Behavior Survey (focusing on grades 9-12) collect data required for the state to receive federal funds and to demonstrate that both federal and state funds are being used effectively. Students will only take one of the two questionnaires.

The 30-minute survey is completely anonymous and voluntary. The results of the survey refer to student age cohorts, therefore responses will not be linked back to particular students.

“This survey is really important for our county,” said Director of Behavioral Health, Prevention Programs Pamella Bello. “It’s important that we have this data because it’s the only way we can bring the services our county needs. This gives the kids a voice, a very important voice to tell us what they need.”

It asks questions about topics such as mental health, substance use, bullying, and other issues.

Parents should know that asking about mental health or suicidality doesn’t increase a child’s risk of developing mental health struggles. According to a Cambridge University study, “Our findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may, in fact, reduce, rather than increase suicidal ideation, and may lead to improvements in mental health in treatment-seeking populations.”

The SHARP survey was designed to address the need for community-level data to make informed decisions when it comes to programming and spending, apply for funding, and evaluate efforts. The survey has helped communities since 2003 and is administered every two years.

It is the only one offered in Utah that collects this level of risk and protective factor data used to identify community needs. Results will be used by numerous local organizations that provide valuable services for the community’s children.

Parents are urged to sign the consent for for the Park City School District here, before February 24. Parents can find more detailed information here SHARP survey.

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