City leaders, youth groups announce survey on teen mental health

Published on March 02, 2023

City of San Antonio Department of Human Services City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District Logo

The survey is available through April 9

SAN ANTONIO (March 2, 2023) – City of San Antonio leaders, the San Antonio Youth Commission (SAYC), and Project Worth Teen Ambassadors have launched the second annual SASpeakUp survey focusing on teen mental health.

SAYC and Project Worth Teen Ambassadors have partnered with the City of San Antonio Department of Human Services (DHS) and Metro Health to provide an SASpeakUp 2023 Teen Mental Health Survey for San Antonio residents between the ages of 12 and 19. The American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Surgeon General have all declared the mental health of children and adolescents a national crisis.

According to the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), more than one in three high school students have experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019. In the same year, approximately one in six youth reported making a suicide plan. The YRBSS highlighted on its site that poor mental health in adolescence is more than feeling blue, it can impact many areas of a teen’s life. Youth with poor mental health may struggle with school and grades, decision making, and their health. 

The survey will be translated into Spanish and the SASpeakUp surveys can also be translated into many other languages to ensure the community’s newest neighbors feel comfortable participating in the survey. The results will help San Antonio youth leaders make suggestions on what would help improve mental health for teens in San Antonio. All personal information will remain confidential. The survey is available through April 9, 2023, at

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, young adults throughout San Antonio experienced increased mental health challenges,” said Dr. Adriana Rocha Garcia, District 4 Councilmember and Chair of the Community Health, Environment and Culture Council Committee. “Last year’s survey results notated several challenges with mental health. It is only through further tracking that we can ensure our most affected populations are receiving the necessary support needed to recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

City Manager Erik Walsh said, “The first survey in 2022 laid the foundation for initiatives and programs funded by the City to improve the mental health outcomes of San Antonio’s youth. The City is investing tens of millions of dollars in more programs for youth, young people, and supportive adults who understand what it’s like to go through mental health challenges.”

City department leaders from the Department of Human Services and Metro Health agree the survey will allow the City of San Antonio to improve resources that will assist youth who are at risk of mental health challenges.

“This survey is a confidential way to tell your City and youth leaders how they can better support you,” said Melody Woosley, Director, Department of Human Services. “The 2023 survey will continue to inform City decisions and make a real difference. Your voice matters. We are listening and ready to act.”

“Enhancing public health services around mental health with the support of key stakeholders is a priority reflected in our multi-year plan,” states Claude A. Jacob, Metro Health Director. “Given local and national trends, gathering feedback from area youth is an important step to identify the factors that impact their quality of life and overall sense of empowerment.”

A key component of Metro Health’s strategic SA Forward Plan, Mental Health and Community Resilience, will help expand the Project Worth Teen Ambassador Program to incorporate Social-Emotional learning (SEL).

Jessie Higgins, Chief Mental Health Officer at Metro Health, said, “This survey has the ability to impact generations to come and can help us provide adequate mental health services to help children and young people develop the skills they need to be safe, healthy, and happy.”

The San Antonio Youth Commission is a group of high school students from around the city. Project Worth Teen Ambassadors are youth from 7 to 12 grades who support teen health in the community by volunteering and sharing their voices, creativity, and ideas.