In 2004, 22.5 percent of youth aged 12 to 17 years
received mental health treatment or counseling in the past year,
which includes treatment or counseling for emotional or behavioral
problems not caused by drug or alcohol use. The rate in 2004 represented
an increase over the previous year’s rate of 20.6 percent. Overall,
there was little difference by age group or race and ethnicity;
however, females were more likely than males to receive treatment
(25.0 versus 20.1 percent). The treatment rate among males declined
with age, while the rate among females increased with age. Youth
with lower family incomes were more likely to receive treatment
that those with higher family incomes.
Among youth who received mental health treatment
or counseling, 33.6 percent used illicit drugs in the past year.
Illicit drug use among those receiving treatment was most common
among 12- to 13-year-olds (38.5 percent), and least common among
16- to 17-year-olds (31.4 percent). Females receiving mental health
treatment were far more likely than males to report past year illicit
drug use (41.6 versus 25.6 percent).
Depression was the leading reason reported for
mental health treatment among 12- to 17-year-olds. Other common reasons
for treatment included breaking rules or “acting out” (27.5 percent),
feeling very afraid or tense (20.9 percent), and suicidal thoughts
or attempts (18.5 percent). Survey respondents were able to report
more than one reason for seeking treatment.
The most common source of mental health treatment
among those youth receiving treatment was a school counselor or
psychologist, or regular teacher meetings (46.7 percent). Also common
was a private source, such as a therapist or psychologist (45.0
percent). Use of a partial day hospital or treatment program was
reported by 7.8 percent of youth receiving treatment, and an overnight
or longer stay in a residential treatment center was reported by
5.3 percent. Youth receiving treatment could indicate any number
of 10 possible sources of care.