New research from a local student-led mental health group paints a complicated picture of mental health perceptions of Kentucky students.

Allison Tu, a senior at duPont Manual High School and executive director of the Student Alliance for Mental Health Innovation and Action (StAMINA), said the organization conducted statewide focus groups of 59 students and 32 parents for the last year on mental health issues. The findings are important as mental health funding in schools has been slashed by 15.8 percent per student since 2008 in Kentucky, and suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15 to 34-year-olds in Kentucky, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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