Youth & Mental Health: Recent Data on Service Settings
One in eight adolescents age 12 to 17 received treatment or counseling in a specialty mental health setting for problems with behavior or emotions in the past year.
According to a recent report from SAMHSA’s 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), Adolescent Mental Health: Service Settings and Reasons for Receiving Care, there are three major types of settings where adolescents generally receive mental health services.
Those settings include:
- Specialty mental health settings with either inpatient or outpatient services
- Educational settings offering help from school counselors, school psychologists, or special education teachers
- General medical settings with services provided by a pediatrician or a family practice provider.
Suicidal Thoughts. Of young people who received specialty inpatient care, thinking about or attempting suicide and feeling depressed were reported equally often as the reason for receiving care (44.9 percent and 44.8 percent, respectively).
Depression. Of those adolescents who received outpatient specialty mental health services, feeling depressed was the most common cause for receiving care (50.4 percent).
Problems at Home. The second most frequently cited reason for receiving care in an outpatient specialty setting was problems at home or with the family (29.0 percent).
According to the report, educators and health care providers may be among the first to be contacted about mental health issues among adolescents. Making sure these professionals can recognize mental health problems and refer adolescents appropriately is a mental health priority.
Read or download the report, Adolescent Mental Health Service Settings and Reasons for Receiving Care.
- In the past year, one in eight (12.5 percent) adolescents (i.e., youth age 12 to 17) received treatment or counseling in a specialty mental health setting for problems with behavior or emotions, 11.5 percent received services in an educational setting, and 2.8 percent received services in a general medical setting.
- One in 20 (5.1 percent) adolescents received services in both a specialty mental health setting and an educational or general medical setting in the past year.
- Feeling depressed was the most common reason for receiving mental health services in a specialty mental health setting (50.0 percent), a general medical setting (44.3 percent), or an educational setting (38.0 percent).