‘Patient population of moderate severity’: US tops global child mental health rankings

The US surgeon general is warning of a “serious mental health crisis” among young people in the United States, as reported by Guardian Australia

The surgeon general, Jerome Adams, has urged action to address mental health problems among America’s youth.

“Over the past few years, I have travelled across the country and been deeply troubled by the number of people I have met who are living with serious mental health issues,” he said in a statement.

“While suicide is by far the leading cause of death among 10 to 14-year-olds, there are also alarming rates of severe and persistent depression and bullying in our youngest youth, as well as the burdens of substance abuse and other mental health issues.

“Some of these problems are associated with poverty, but others are preventable. Many are in a silent place – without health insurance or access to care.”

His remarks follow a report by the federal Centers for Disease Control which found the number of children and teenagers who reported having an “emotional or behavioral disorder” rose to 1.2 million in 2016, up from almost 700,000 in 2011.

The report called for “measures to help facilitate and monitor the development of these disorders, as well as efforts to improve access to evidence-based mental health care”.

The CDC director, Brenda Fitzgerald, urged everyone to support efforts to address the issue.

“To defeat this crisis, we must work together as a nation to stop the cycle of shame, stigma, and stigmas that keep people from seeking care, but often prevent people with mental illness from having full lives.”

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