9 Percent of U.S. Youths Had Depressive Episode in Past Year: SAMHSA

About 9 percent of U.S. youths ages 12 to 17 experienced at least one major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year, according to data released June 11 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA said the same was true for 7.6 percent of adults age 18 or older. SAMHSA Administrator Terry Cline released the findings at a Mental Health America meeting in Washington, D.C., last week.

The findings are from SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health; it indicated states with the highest MDE rates were Idaho (10.4 percent) and Nevada (10.3 percent) and states with the lowest rates were Louisiana (7.2 percent) and South Dakota (7.4 percent). "The complexities associated with mental health problems leave states with a heavy responsibility to provide effective and responsive mental health promotion, treatment, and recovery support services. These data add to the information state mental health authorities use to plan for and allocate resources," Cline said.

MDE is defined by the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a period of two weeks or longer during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure and at least four other symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, and self-image. "State Estimates of Depression: 2004 and 2005 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health" is online at http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k7/states/depression.cfm.

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