Of 17.1 Million Mentally Ill Kids, Most Are Not Getting Treated

Of 17.1 Million Mentally Ill Kids, Most Are Not Getting Treated

The Child Mind Institute released the first annual Children’s Mental Health Report, which synthesizes the most important data on the prevalence of mental illness in children and the gap between need and care. The report shows that the majority of kids aren't getting treated.

 

Today the Child Mind Institute announced the release of the first annual Children’s Mental Health Report, which synthesizes the most important, credible, and available data on the prevalence of mental illness in children and the gap between need and care. The report found that an estimated 17.1 million young people in the US have or have had a diagnosable and impairing psychiatric disorder. This is the highest number ever reported.   

The report shows that the majority of kids aren't getting treated. Fully 80 percent of kids with a diagnosable anxiety disorder do not get treatment, while 60 percent of kids with diagnosable depression and 40 percent of kids with diagnosable ADHD do not get treatment.

“The results are in and they are remarkable in that they defy the general public’s perception of childhood mental illness,” said Child Mind Institute founder and president Harold Koplewicz, M.D. “Many more kids than we realized struggle with mental illness and nearly two thirds do not get treatment. This is a wake up call. Mental illness and learning disabilities are the common disorders of childhood.”

Failure to intervene early leaves kids and adolescents at a higher risk for academic failure, school drop out, alcohol and substance abuse, entering the juvenile justice system, and even suicide. In fact, more than 70 percent of youth in juvenile justice settings meet criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis, and the cost of lost productivity and crime spending related to mental illness in Americans younger than 24 is a staggering $202 billion.

children's mental illness statistics

 

The Child Mind Institute’s Children’s Mental Health Report highlights the effective treatments we have, the importance of early intervention, and the costs of not recognizing and addressing childhood mental illness. It will be published on childmind.org and shared by partners Web MD, Parents Magazine, and The National Council for Behavioral Health.

The Child Mind Institute’s Children’s Mental Health Report will officially be released tonight at the Change Maker Awards in New York City. The report and the awards are a part of the Child Mind Institute’s annual public education campaign, Speak Up for Kids, held each May to promote children’s mental health. In its fifth year, the campaign celebrates people making change in children’s mental health and provides accurate information to the media, families, educators, and leaders that empowers them to speak up for kids with mental illnesses and learning disorders.

 

children's mental health report