CDC issues first comprehensive report on children’s mental health in the United States

May 16, 2013

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report on Thursday, “Mental Health Surveillance Among Children in the United States – 2005-2011,” appearing as a supplement of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. This is the first CDC report to track the number of U.S. children age 3-17 years who have specific mental disorders or indicators of mental health.

The report documents that millions of U.S. children have mental disorders. Boys and girls of all ages, regions, ethnic and racial backgrounds experience these health issues. The report is an important step to better understand childhood mental disorders, identify gaps in data, and develop strategies to help children reach their full potential in life.

In the United States, 1 in 5 children have mental disorders and estimates are increasing.  Approximately $247 billion is spent each year on children’s mental health. The mental health of children is critical to their overall health as children and as they grow into adults.  Childhood mental disorders are treatable and manageable, and CDC has been working to better understand the specifics of these disorders to improve children’s mental health.

  • Download the MMWR supplement here.

On Friday, May 17, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden will be a keynote speaker and will provide remarks related to the report at the Eighteenth Annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum. CMHNetwork Advisory member Brigitte Manteuffel will be in attendance and will provide an update that you can read next week. Thank you Brigitte!

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