• The Dedham High School Wellness Department and Counseling Services Department are proud to come together to support our students following the administration of the Metrowest Adolescent Health Survey (MWAHS). 

    Every two years, the survey identifies detailed data about youth behaviors in the areas of substance use, violence, bullying, mental health, sexual behavior, and physical activity in 26 Massachusetts communities. 

    This is the third time since 2016 that the Dedham Public Schools will administer the survey to its students in grades 6-12.

    Included below - and available as a PDF handout for download - you will find information that the DHS Counseling Services Department thought would best support our school community. 

    If you are interested in additional information or have any questions, please contact Mr. Mark Carney or Dr. Ashley Dube.


  • The following resources may be of help to assist individuals and families who may be dealing with mental health symptoms and/or adolescent substance use. We encourage you to review these resources and seek assistance either for yourself or for loved ones who may be impacted by these symptoms or behaviors.


  • Have a conversation with your child. 

    • Keep the conversation on point 
    • Recognize and acknowledge emotions and feelings   Expressing how you feel and backing it up with evidence of your concerns.
    • Follow up by asking  “Do you have any questions?” or “It looks like you have some questions.”
    • End by keeping the conversation open 

     “If you ever have any other questions or want to talk more about this, I’m here for you.”

    If your concerns persist, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Health Care Professionals.

    Your School Can Help!

Information about Depression and Anxiety

    • Depression is an unhappy mood that affects daily functioning, including thoughts, feelings, behavior, and overall health. 
    • Depression can occur to anyone, at any age, and to people of any race or ethnic group 
    • Anxiety disorders are a type of mental health condition that may result in adolescents responding to certain things and situations with fear and dread. 
    • Students may also experience a number of physical signs such as a rapid heartbeat and sweating.
    • Depression and anxiety are mental health conditions that can be treated.


    • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
    • Sleeping too much or too little
    • Loss of pleasure and interest in activities once enjoyed
    • Restlessness, irritability
    • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased appetite and weight gain
    • Difficulty concentrating or making mistakes
    • Fatigue or loss of energy
    • Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
    • Preoccupation with death and/or thoughts of suicide

Information About Adolescent Substance Use

  • Statistics from the MWAHS and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey have consistently identified that a number of youth are engaging in risk behaviors relating to adolescent substance use.

    Adolescents using substances are more likely to experience:

    • Higher rates of physical and mental health conditions.  
    • School problems, such as higher rates of absences or lower grades.
    • Social problems, such as fighting or lack of participation in activities.
    • Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity.
    • Physical and sexual violence.
    • Increased risk of suicide 
    • Diminished overall health and well-being, and potential progression to addiction.



Download This Informational Handout

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