Are Teen Mental Health Issues More Common In Today’s Youth?

While mental health awareness is increasing, many people continue to believe physical health is the key to overall health–which is wrong. Physical and mental health work together to feed and nourish each other, creating overall wellness as a team. If you feed one and starve the other, you cannot truly reach wellness. This is why when the focus is mainly on teen physical health, teen mental health issues run wild.

It’s a common misconception that teen mental health issues are rare, but they’re actually quite common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 1 in 5 American children will face a diagnosable, emotional, or behavioral disorder within a year.

Teen mental health issues vastly untreated

Of those 1 in 5 children, only 20 percent will be diagnosed and receive the treatment they need. The mass majority will go untreated–which often leads to worsening symptoms.

Recent studies have been showing the rate of depression is increasing in adolescents, particularly in young girls. Alongside this startling statistic, the CDC reported that the suicide rate of young girls hit a 40-year peak in 2015. .

According to the American Psychiatric Association, onset for about half of all cases of mental illness start at 14 years old. Adolescence is arguably the most vulnerable times for mental illness to settle in–which is why early treatment is so important.

Dr. Harold Koplewicz, the founding president of The Child Mind Institute, explained why teen mental health issues are different than adult ones:

“Child and adolescent mental health disorders are the most common illnesses that children will experience under the age of 18. It’s pretty amazing, because the number’s so large that I think it’s hard to wrap our heads around it…Teenagers have a different kind of depression. They don’t seem sad. They seem irritable,” he said. “This really has an effect on your concentration, which will affect school. It will affect your desire to continue playing sports. It’ll affect your desire of being with your friends.”

It’s obvious that teen mental health issues are a real threat to our children’s wellbeing. It’s time for society to step up and take actions to improve prevention and treatment efforts.

If you believe your teen is struggling with mental health issues, don’t wait. It’s critical to reach out to a professional for further guidance.

Elevations is here for your family

Elevations RTC is a residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18. Our students often grapple with anxiety, trauma, depression, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral teen mental health issues.

As one of the leading residential treatment schools for struggling teens, we use a combination of a focused therapeutic lens, real-world environment, secure setting, and caring staff to foster growth and success in our students. Finding the right program can be difficult for a family, which is why Elevations is here to help guide you through it.

For more information about how we help with teen mental health issues at Elevations RTC, please call .

Elevations Quick Facts

Leading RTC Accreditations


Ages 13 – 18

Comprehensive Medical / Psych

Community-based Approach

Fun, Experiential

Accredited Academics

Real-World Setting

Recent Posts

Posted in