Skip to main content

Teen Mental Health Statistics

teenage girl having mental health problems

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describe mental disorders among young people as “serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions, causing distress and problems getting through the day.” The CDC relies on findings from surveys such as The National Survey of Children’s Heath (NSCH) to provide data on various intersecting aspects of young people’s lives, including “physical and mental health, access to quality health care, and the child’s family, neighborhood, school and social context.” This includes information (directly reported by parents) regarding the number of children that have been diagnosed with mental disorders. Penn Medicine identifies the most common diagnosed mental health illnesses in young people as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), depression, attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and behavior disorders. The following statistics, provided by a variety of sources, clearly denote the prevalence of teenage mental health illness in America.

  • In 2014, Penn Medicine reported more than 1 in 10 adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17 experienced an episode of major depression. 
  • The Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology published findings from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health that estimated 6.1 million children between the ages of 2 to 17 had been diagnosed with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • The 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that an estimated 3.2 million adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17 had at least one major depressive episode (which makes up 13% of the US population in that age group).
  • According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) depression and bipolar disorder affect approximately 14% of young people between the ages of 13 to 17. 
  • Data reported in the 2017 National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A) estimates approximately 2.2% of young people between the ages of 13 to 18 had generalized anxiety disorder. 
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) asserts that suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15 to 19-year-olds.
  • The NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) reports finding that nearly 9.1% of adolescents between the ages of 13 to 18 had social anxiety disorder (SAD), and an estimated 1.3% had severe impairment.
  • The CDC reports 7.4% of children between the ages of 3 to 17 have a diagnosed behavior problem, which totals nearly 4.5 million young people.
  • According to findings from the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Survey Initiative half of all mental health conditions start by age 14 but most cases go undetected and untreated. 

Mental health disorders can affect all areas of a young person’s life. In many cases the pervasive symptoms associated to the diagnosed mental health illness prohibit a teen from effectively functioning in his or her normal activities, leaving him or her unable to complete simple daily tasks. Untreated mental health illnesses can lead to the development of severe short and long-term effects. 

For Information and Support 

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at or through our contact form.

Close Menu
Back to top