A new article reveals that most teens that struggle with depression do not receive treatment. Each year, almost 2 million teens report having experienced an episode of major depression. However, only 30 percent of them receive treatment for the symptoms of anxiety, sadness, guilt and irritability. The findings were revealed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in an effort to raise awareness at the severity of mental health issues in children. The study indicated that nearly 15% of teens had considered suicide in the previous twelve months, and the findings hope to help discover which children are at greater risk in order to implement the proper interventions and therapies to prevent injuries and death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 4,400 American adolescents and young adults commit suicide annually, and another 150,000 receive treatment for self-injuries. The Center confirms that the majority of children who take their own lives had a diagnosable and treatable mental health condition and often exhibited symptoms in the months leading up to their suicide. The study also revealed that children who reported symptoms of depression were more likely to engage in addictive and abusive behaviors involving drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. The report targets these children specifically in order so that professionals “can turn a life around and reduce the impact of mental illness and substance abuse on America’s communities,” said Pamela S. Hyde, an administrator for the agency.
“Teen Screen” was created by doctors at Columbia University in an effort to identify children at risk for mental health issues. It is available throughout the country and is popular with physicians and in schools. Deputy executive director of Teen Screen Leslie McGuire said, “We know the earlier we identify these conditions, the prognosis for an adolescent is so much better. But we have to find them first.”
© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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