The rate of adolescents reporting a recent bout of clinical depression grew by 37 percent over the decade ending in 2014, with one in six girls reporting an episode in the past year, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health-led research suggests.
The findings, published online November 14 in the journal Pediatrics, highlight a need to focus on the mental well-being of young people and match those in peril with mental health professionals.
“This shows us there are a growing number of untreated adolescents with depression and that we are making few inroads in getting mental health care to this population,” says study leader Dr. Ramin Mojtabai, a professor in the department of mental health at the Bloomberg School. “It is imperative that we find ways to reach these teenagers and help them manage their depression.”
Suicide rates have been increasing in recent years, particularly among adolescent girls and young women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this month reported that suicide rates among American middle school students – those aged 10 to 14 – were higher than rates of death from motor vehicle crashes in that age group.