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Mental Health Facts

Adolescents’ developing brains, coupled with hormonal changes, make them more prone to depression and other mental health disorders. Approximately 20% of adolescents have a diagnosable mental health disorder and between 500,000 and one million young people aged 15 to 24 attempt suicide each year.

  • Between 50% and 75% of adolescents with anxiety disorders and impulse control disorders (such as conduct disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) develop these during adolescence.
  • An estimated 67% to 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosable mental health disorder.
  • Existing mental health problems become increasingly complex and intense as children transition into adolescence.

In 2009 there were 2.0 million youth (8.1 percent of the population age 12 to 17) who had Major Depressive Disorder during the past year, 35.7 percent of which used illicit drugs in the past year.