Statistics

General

Academics/School Performance

According to the Department of Education, 50% of children with serious emotional/ behavioral disorders drop out of high school, compared to 30% of students with other disabilities — making it the highest drop-out rate of any disability group (U.S. Dept. of Education, 2001).

Suicide/Attempted Suicide

  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among those aged 15-24 yrs.
  • Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among children aged 10-14 yrs.
  • 17% of US high school students seriously considered suicide and 8.4% had attempted suicide at least once during the preceding year.
    (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 7, 2007 / 56(35);905-908.)
  • When surveyed by the American College Health Association, approximately 10% of college student report having seriously considered attempting suicide within the previous 12 months. (American College Health Association. American College Health Association – National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) Web Summary. Updated August 2007.)
  • Studies on suicide by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that at least 90 percent of people who kill themselves have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric illness. (NIH: Suicide in the US — Statistics & Prevention.)
Miscellaneous
A key finding of an online survey administered as part of NAMI’s 2004 Bipolar Disorder Awareness Day was the large number of students who reported an experience of symptoms associated with serious mental illness. According to the survey of over 1,000 college students:

  • One in three students reports having experienced prolonged periods of depression.
  • One in four students reports having suicidal thoughts or feelings.
  • One in seven students reports engaging in abnormally reckless behavior.
  • One in seven reports difficulty functioning at school due to mental illness.
  • (NAMI: Mental Illness Prolific Among College Students.)

What Works
Introducing people with mental illness to the general public, compared to mental health education alone, has led to significant and lasting changes in attitudes and behavior. (How Stigma Interferes with Mental Healthcare: An Expert Interview with Patrick W. Corrigan, PhD. Medscape Psychiatry and Mental Health 9(2), 2004.)

Early intervention efforts have demonstrated effectiveness in contributing to the overall mental well-being of children as well as in reducing delinquency, substance abuse, health-risking sexual behaviors, and school failure. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services (2007). Promotion and Prevention in Mental Health: Strengthening Parenting and Enhancing Child Resilience, DHHS Publication No. CMHS-SVP-0175. Rockville, MD.)

School settings present a key opportunity to reach out with evidence-based programs to parents and other caregivers because the social and emotional skills taught by these programs usually have a positive impact on improving academic achievement. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services (2007). Promotion and Prevention In Mental Health: Strengthening Parenting and Enhancing Child Resilience, DHHS Publication No. CMHS-SVP-0175. Rockville, MD.)

Risky Behaviors
When compared to youth without mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, youth with mental health issues are:

  • 50 percent more likely to smoke,
  • 50 percent more likely to initiate illicit drug use(iii), and

Teens with depression are 50 percent more likely to develop obesity.

National Poll on Children’s Health.
A publication from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, the University of Michigan, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases and the University of Michigan Child Health Evaluation and Research (Vol. 1, Issue 2, May 2, 2007.)

The NSDUH Report: Depression and the Initiation of Cigarette, Alcohol, and Other Drug Use among Young Adults.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies.
(November 15, 2007.)

Depression in Teenagers Increases Risk of Obesity.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Pediatric Health News Releases.
(September 3, 2002.)

iii Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. (November 15, 2007). The NSDUH Report: Depression and the Initiation of Cigarette, Alcohol, and Other Drug Use among Young Adults. Rockville, MD.