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ARCHIVED: Adolescent Health Initiative - Mental Health
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In the United States, approximately 6 to 9 million children and adolescents have serious emotional disturbances.1 Research shows that one of five children and adolescents aged 9 to 17 years experience symptoms of mental health problems that cause some level of impairment in a given year. 2 Less than 20% of children and adolescents who require mental health services receive it. 3

  • Expenditures for children’s mental health services were nearly $11.7 to $14.0 billion in 1998—a threefold increase from 1986.4,5

  • Left untreated, mental health disorders in children and adolescents lead to higher rates of suicide, violence, school dropout, family dysfunction, juvenile incarcerations, alcohol and other drug use, and unintentional injuries.

  • Schools can play a vital role in creating safe, nurturing school environments and providing care to students with emotional or behavioral problems. According to the School Health Policy and Programs Study of 2006, 77.9% of schools have a part-time or full-time guidance counselor, 61.4% have a part-time or full-time psychologist, and 41% percent have a part-time or full-time social worker.6

This information is from the CDC Healthy Youth! Adolescent Health Website.


References

1.U. S. Public Health Service.Report of the Surgeon General’s Conference on Children’s Mental Health: A National Action Agenda. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000.

2.U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, 1999.

3.Kataoka S, Zhang L, Wells K. Unmet need for mental health care among U.S. children: Variation by ethnicity and insurance status.American Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 1548-1555, 2002.

4.Sturm R, Ringel JS, Bao C, et al. National Estimates of Mental Health Utilization and Expenditures for Children in 1988.Blueprint for Change: Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Vol. VI. Washington, DC, 2001.

5.U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services.Special Report: National Estimates of Mental Health Insurance Benefits, 2004.

6.Kann L, Brener ND, Wechsler H. Overview and summary: School Health Policies and Program Study 2006.Journal of School Health.2007;77(8):385-397.

 


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