The share of U.S. teenagers who have experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year rose to 14.4 percent in 2018, according to an annual survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. That is almost double the 2006 rate of 7.9 percent.
Meanwhile, the share of 12 to 17-year-olds receiving treatment for these episodes has not increased majorly over the past years and has instead stagnated around 40 percent of those affected. The rate was slightly higher at around 45 percent for those experiencing one or more depressive episodes with severe impairment (like a failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home).
Almost 4 million U.S. adolescents received this treatment in a specialized mental health care facility. Approximately 3.5 million received these services at their school through a social worker, psychologist or counselor, highlighting the importance of educational institutions for teenagers’ mental health care.