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HB 1639 (NF Opposes) Executive Session at 9 AM in the Senate Education Committee: This bill would weaken NH’s children’s behavioral health treatment systems by changing participation in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) to an “opt-in,” reducing participation and data collection. The YRBS is critical to understanding the scope of substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy, and even unhealthy eating habits among the state’s high schoolers. 

TAKE ACTION: Contact Senators on the Committee and let them know why HB 1639 is wrong for NH: 

https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/committees/committee_details.aspx?cc=45

More information about the YRBS:

  • Developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), YRBS uses anonymous data to monitor the health risks and experiences of high school students.  State health and education officials use this anonymous data to track trends and develop health systems and policies that prevent and address risky and unhealthy behavior by high school students.  Particularly in the age of COVID, it is essential to recognize any changes in the health behavior patterns in students so that schools, parents, and programs can adjust their strategies to support youth accordingly. 
  • YRBS is purposefully structured as an “opt-out” program in order to maximize participation and expand data collection as widely as possible to capture trends and needs among different population sets. Studies show the data collected to be valid and reliable, with safeguards in place to discount false answers, and all data is aggregated before it becomes publicly available, so it cannot be linked to an individual.
  • Shifting YRBS to “opt-in,” as proposed under HB 1639, would significantly decrease participation, reducing the amount data collected and weakening the prevention and treatment programs that rely upon this data.  This reduced participation could contribute to greater inaccuracies, making it more difficult to assess the welfare of New Hampshire’s youth, and it could potentially sacrifice future federal grant funding if the State cannot accurately illustrate the level of need.

HB 1639 Letter[1].docx