Mental Health Crisis: Depression, Suicide Rates Among American Youth Skyrocketing

Brandon Showalter | 25 March 2019

American youth are facing a mental health crisis of tremendous proportions, new data shows, as rates of suicide and depression have skyrocketed in the past decade.

In an March 14 essay on The Conversation, San Diego State University professor of psychology professor Jean Twenge explained that new analysis of government research, specifically the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, reveal a “staggering” epidemic of mental health problems.

Among the most notable statistics documented are that the suicide rate among 18- to 19-year-olds has increased 56 percent in the years 2008 to 2017. In that same span of time, anxiety and hopelessness among 18- to 25-year-olds has risen 71 percent. Depression among 20- and 21-year-olds has more than doubled from 2009 to 2017. Among 16- and 17-year-olds depression grew 69 percent.

The mental health issues were particularly dire for young women and girls. By 2017, the data reveals that approximately 20 percent of 12- to 17-year-old girls had experienced “major depression” in the previous year.

The survey data was obtained from over 600,000 American respondents.

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