Use of Selected Nonmedication Mental Health Services by Adolescent Boys and Girls With Serious Emotional or Behavioral Difficulties: United States, 2010–2012

Mental health is a key component of a child’s overall wellbeing. Previous research using data from the National Health Interview Survey found that about 6% of adolescents have serious emotional or behavioral difficulties. Both medication and nonmedication services have been found to be effective for treatment. Two recent reports from the National Center for Health Statistics have presented estimates of medication use among U.S. adolescents. The use of prescription medication for emotional or behavioral difficulties was higher among boys than girls.

A new report from NCHS describes differences between boys and girls in the use of nonmedication mental health services in various school and nonschool settings among adolescents aged 12–17 with serious emotional or behavioral difficulties.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • About 4% of adolescents aged 12–17 had a serious emotional or behavioral difficulty and received nonmedication mental health services in the past 6 months.
  • Nearly 71% of adolescents with serious emotional or behavioral difficulties received nonmedication mental health services in the past 6 months.
  • Among adolescents with serious emotional or behavioral difficulties, boys were more likely than girls to receive nonmedication mental health services.
  • Boys with serious emotional or behavioral difficulties were more likely than girls to receive services in school settings.
  • The percentage of boys and girls with serious emotional or behavioral difficulties receiving nonschool services was similar for all settings except for the emergency department.

 

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