Simple Ring SmallOn May 16, a new CDC report was released that describes, for the first time, federal activities that track U.S. children’s mental disorders.  Although the report is national in scope, it provides important context for tracking trends at the local level.   Click here to view the full report.

From the report summary:

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mental Health Surveillance Among Children —United States, 2005–2011, describes federal efforts on monitoring mental disorders, and presents estimates of the number of children with specific mental disorders. The report was developed in collaboration with key federal partners, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). It is an important step towards better understanding these disorders and the impact they have on children.

This is the first report to describe the number of U.S. children aged 3–17 years who have specific mental disorders, compiling information from different data sources covering the period 2005–2011. It provides information on childhood mental disorders where there is recent or ongoing monitoring. These include ADHD, disruptive behavioral disorders such as oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder, autism spectrum disorders, mood and anxiety disorders including depression, substance use disorders, and Tourette syndrome. The report also includes information on a few indicators of mental health, specifically, mentally unhealthy days and suicide.  Key findings include:

  • Millions of American children live with depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, Tourette syndrome or a host of other mental health issues.
  • ADHD was the most prevalent current diagnosis among children aged 3–17 years.
  • The number of children with a mental disorder increased with age, with the exception of autism spectrum disorders, which was highest among 6 to 11 year old children.
  • Boys were more likely than girls to have ADHD, behavioral or conduct problems, autism spectrum disorders, anxiety, Tourette syndrome, and cigarette dependence.
  • Adolescent boys aged 12–17 years were more likely than girls to die by suicide.
  • Adolescent girls were more likely than boys to have depression or an alcohol use disorder.
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