National Statistics

Four million children and adolescents in this country suffer from a serious mental disorder that causes significant functional impairments at home, at school, and with peers.

Of children ages 9 to 17, 21 percent (1 in 5) have a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder that causes at least minimal impairment.

50 percent of all lifetime cases of mental disorders begin by age 14 and 80 percent begin by age 20. Despite effective treatments, there are long delays, sometimes decades, between the first onset of symptoms and when people seek and receive treatment.

Treatment of mental disorders can prevent the development of co-occurring illnesses and/or ones that are more severe and difficult to treat.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 15 to 24.

Over 90 percent of children and adolescents who complete suicide have a mental disorder.

Approximately 50 percent of students age 14 and older who are living with a mental illness drop out of high school. This is the highest dropout rate of any disability group. Adolescents with mental health problems also have the lowest rate of employment.

% of children, ages 3-17, who have been diagnosed with:

ADHD (6.8%)
Behavioral or conduct problems (3.5%)
Anxiety (3.0%)
Depression (2.1%)
Autism spectrum disorders (1.1%)
Tourette syndrome (0.2%) (ages 6–17)

Data Sources:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General

National Institute of Mental Health Release of Landmark and Collaborative Study

“Methods of Adolescent Suicide Prevention.” Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
U.S. Department of Education, Twenty-third annual report to Congress on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mental health surveillance among children – United States