Mental Health Challenges Found among Older Teens and Young Adults

o-TEEN-DEPRESSION-facebookIn connection with the May observance of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, SAMHSA’s Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality released a short report: “Serious Mental Health Challenges among Older Adolescents and Young Adults.” Data from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) were used to provide a snapshot of mental health issues among older adolescents (ages 16 and 17) and young adults (ages 18 to 25), including data on employment, education, and insurance coverage. Among the findings –

• Combined 2010 to 2012 NSDUH data indicate that 1 in 10 older adolescents aged 16 to 17 had a major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year. One in five young adults aged 18 to 25 (18.7 percent) had any mental illness (AMI) in the past year and 3.9 percent had a serious mental illness (SMI).

• In the past year, 3.1 percent of older adolescents had co-occurring MDE and substance use disorder (SUD); 6.4 percent of young adults had co-occurring AMI and SUD, and 1.6 percent of young adults had co-occurring SMI and SUD.

• Among older adolescents with MDE, 60.1 percent did not receive treatment for depression in the past year. Among young adults with AMI, 66.6 percent did not receive mental health services in the past year. Among young adults with SMI, 47 percent did not receive treatment.

• Older adolescents with MDE and young adults with mental illness generally had poorer quality of life than those without mental illness.

The report concludes that early intervention may help older adolescents and young adults successfully transition into their adult roles.

Released by SAMHSA May 2014