Click Here: Mental Illness in Youth

Age 12 greeted me with prayers to God to take my life before I took my own. When I first brought my very legitimate concerns to an adult, he smiled uneasily and went back to bouncing the basketball ever in his hands: “Don’t worry. It’s not that serious. You will just get over it.” Unfortunately, this can be the response of many people when they are smashed in the face with the life-or-death pleas of a peer or impressionable child. Spreading knowledge, encouraging young people to get help, and eliminating stigma is imperative. I am grateful that I have had different friends, quite literally, save my life during my end-of-days… Let’s #EndtheStigma be #StigmaFree, move toward #SuicidePrevention, and #LiveLaughLove.

Some Facts:

Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13% *1

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death of teenagers…

11% – mood disorder

10% – conduct or behavior disorder

8% – anxiety disorder

70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness. *2

Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatment, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help. *3

Over one-third (37%) of students with a mental health condition age 14­–21 and older who are served by special education drop out—the highest dropout rate of any disability group. *4

More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition. *5

Great Source Infographic:


From — Other Contributing Sources:

*1 — Any Disorder Among Children. (n.d.) Retrieved January 16, 2015, from 

*2 — National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. (2007). Blueprint for Change: A Comprehensive Model for the Identification and Treatment of Youth with Mental Health Needs in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System. Delmar, N.Y: Skowyra, K.R. & Cocozza, J.J. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from

*3 — Kessler, R.C., et al. (2005). Prevalence, Severity, and Comorbidity of 12-Month DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbitity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 593–602. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from

*4 — U.S. Department of Education. (2014). 35th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2013. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from

*5 — U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1999). Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from


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