Report: Rate Of Severe Mental Illness Among Kids, Teens Has Dropped Substantially In The Past Generation

The New York Times (5/21, A14, Carey, Subscription Publication) reports, “The rate of severe mental illness among children and adolescents has dropped substantially in the past generation,” according to a report published May 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The report’s conclusions come at a time when “critics argue that modern psychiatry is over-diagnosing and treating an increasing number of the worried well or merely quirky.” In addition, the report “exposed gaps in scientists’ grasp of mental health trends,” particularly those of youths, making it difficult for organizations funding research and government policymakers to target resources appropriately.

The AP (5/21, Marchione) reports, “The study used nationwide surveys done by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality over three periods from 1996 to 2012, covering more than 53,000 youths ages six to 17.” Researchers found that an increasing number of youngsters and adolescents “are taking mental health medicines than ever before, but more also are getting therapy, not just” medication, with “the biggest rise in treatment rates” seen “among the most troubled kids.” Still, more than half (56%) of troubled young people are not getting any care whatsoever.

Related Links:

— “Severe Mental Illness Found to Drop in Young, Defying Perceptions,” Benedict Carey, New York Times, May 20, 2015.

Posted in In The News.