Every seventeen minutes, someone in the United States commits suicide.
Suicide ranks third among causes of death for Americans under the age of twenty-one, and it is number two for college students.
In 1995, more young people died of suicide than of AIDS, cancer, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, birth defects, and heart disease combined.
Suicide was, according to the World Health Organization, responsible for almost 2 percent of deaths worldwide in 1998, which puts it ahead of war and way ahead of homicide.
Statistics on Depression
Between 20% – 30% of adolescents report symptoms of depression. While depression once was considered an “adult” affliction, the mean age of onset today is 15.
Almost 9 percent of high school students have attempted suicide in the past year.
Early diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders increase the likelihood that the teenager can lead a productive adult life.
Most prevalent adolescent disorders are treatable. But delivery of treatment is by no means assured.
Schools are the de facto mental health service delivery system for children and adolescents. But the level of services available is poor, and varies widely. Of 2,000 schools surveyed as part of a study titled, “Treating and Preventing Adolescent Mental Health Disorders, What We Know and What We Don’t Know,” published in 2005, slightly more than half had full-time access to a mental health professional.
Primary-care physicians — who can serve as a gateway to specialized treatment — often are inadequately trained to identify and diagnose mental health problems. Many physicians expressed low confidence in their abilities to detect mental disorders among adolescents in their care.
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