Mental Illness

Mental Illness

According to the Child Mind Institute, 17.1 million American children have had or have a diagnosable mental illness.1

The CDC reports that one in five children “experience a mental disorder in a given year,” and that the Nation spends an estimated $247 billion each year treating and managing childhood mental disorders.2

The CDC reports that 7.1 percent (4.4 million) of American children aged three to 17 are diagnosed with anxiety disorders that have been increasing in recent years. Another 1.9 million children have been diagnosed with depression.3

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “an estimated 49.5% of adolescents [aged 13-18] had any mental disorder. Of adolescents with any mental disorder, an estimated 22.2% had severe impairment.”4

Self-harm-related emergency department visits by youth have skyrocketed, with 18.8% annual increase among females aged 10 to 14 years starting in 2009, from 109.8 (95% CI, 69.9-149.7) in 2009 to 317.7 (95% CI, 230.3-405.1) per 100 000 population in 2015.5

In 2016, suicide became the second leading cause of death for those aged 10 – 34 years, with the greatest increases among those 10 to 24 years old.6

1. Child Mind Institute, 2016 Child Mind Institute Children’s Mental Health Report.

2. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Improving Children’s Behavioral Health.

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Anxiety and depression in children: Get the facts.

4. National Institute of Mental Health, Mental Illness.

5. Mercado et al. (2017). Trends in Emergency Department Visits for Nonfatal Self- inflicted Injuries Among Youth Aged 10 to 24 Years in the United States, 2001-2015. JAMA 318(19):1931–1933.

6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief No. 330, November, 2108. Suicide Mortality in the United States, 1999–2017,

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