The Mental Health of Adolescents: A National Profile, 2008 highlights existing national data about adolescent mental health status, assesses shortcomings of current data, and offers recommendations to address these shortcomings. The brief, produced by the National Adolescent Health Information Center at the University of California, San Francisco, with support from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, reviews definitions of mental health and describes methods for assessing mental health status. To describe the prevalence of mental health problems, the authors organize the findings as follows: global estimates of behavioral and emotional problems, estimates of specific disorders, suicide, and utilization of mental health services. A conclusion, national data sources cited in the brief, and references are provided.
The brief is intended for use by health professionals, policymakers, educators, and others in strengthening systems that monitor the mental and emotional health of young people at national, state, and local levels. The brief is available at Brief.
Couple that with this, from the Journal of Adolescent Health:Trends in the six objectives in this area mostly show modest or no improvement. The suicide rate for younger and older adolescents remains essentially unchanged, as does the percentage of adolescents who report suicide attempts that require medical attention. Trends in the two substance use objectives—binge drinking and marijuana use—show fairly small decreases. The midcourse review shows modest improvement in the two remaining objectives: the proportion of children and adolescents with disabilities who are reported to be sad, unhappy, or depressed, and the proportion of children with mental health problems who receive treatment. If these trends continue, only the last objective will meet its 2010 target.
Must be Monday; lots of work to do.