I have found that the student survey data can be analyzed in an in-depth approach that identifies populations of at-risk students. By focusing on one item (e.g. a history of suicidal ideation) and then correlating this with another item (e.g. grades), significant information can be obtained. For example, one school district’s data indicated that, if a ninth-grade female student reported that she received mostly C grades, she had a 44% chance of also reporting suicidal ideation. Many school districts have school counselors meet with all of the students on their caseload at least once. Knowing that nearly half of the ninth-grade female students with C averages have suicidal ideation can help inform counselors regarding interventions. This is just one of many examples of two item correlations. Correlations can even be done with additional variables.
I would encourage your district to consider conducting in-depth analysis of Minnesota student survey data, in order to gain a better understanding of the mental health needs of your student population. For those of you who work in other states, there is a good chance that your state will have its own survey similar to the one that is used in Minnesota.