Adolescence is one of the most formative periods of our lives. These years are a time of rapid change, growth, and exploration—but they can also come with unique challenges and pressures that can impact mental health. To support our children as they navigate the complexities of adolescence, we must educate ourselves on the current state of teen mental health.

In this blog, we explore the subject of teen mental health statistics, aiming to provide a factual overview and nuanced understanding of the factors that influence the well-being of teenagers. By looking at key statistics and facts, we can better understand the realities teens face today and determine how to best support them.

Beyond the numbers, this article is a reminder of the importance of addressing teen mental health with empathy, understanding, and actionable strategies. Let's stay informed and create a future where teenagers can thrive mentally, emotionally, and socially.


Teenage Mental Health Facts: Table of Contents

  1. The Modern Landscape of Teen Mental Health
  2. Teen Mental Health Statistics Overview
  3. Teen Mental Health Statistics by Condition
  4. Factors Influencing Teen Mental Health
  5. Supportive Mental Health Services for Teenagers


The Modern Landscape of Teen Mental Health

Teen mental health refers to the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of individuals aged 12 to 18. According to the World Health Organization, “Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community.”

Adolescence is a time of heightened vulnerability to mental health challenges, with certain conditions manifesting or intensifying during this period. Teenage mental health is sometimes even trivialized—associating it as “part of growing up,” but it shouldn’t be. When ignored, mental health challenges can have profound implications on academic performance, social relationships, and overall quality of life.

U 18 mental health stats (2)


There are approximately 25.8 million teenagers living in the United States. That’s millions of young people who are dealing with a rapidly changing world shaped by technological advancements, social media influences, academic pressures, and societal expectations. At its core, understanding teen mental health requires an appreciation for the unique challenges and complexities that adolescents face during this pivotal stage of their lives. 

At Compass Health Center, we recognize the importance of early intervention in guiding adolescents as they navigate their way through life. We provide immediate support and resources tailored to the unique needs of teenagers, ensuring that they have the tools to effectively manage their mental health and better cope with life's challenges.


Teen Mental Health Statistics Overview

Here are some recent teenage mental health statistics:


Help Is Always Within Reach

Don’t wait—contact our team to get immediate access to specialized mental health care for your teen. 

Schedule an Appointment


Teen Mental Health Statistics by Condition

In addition to these teen mental health facts, understanding the prevalence and nuances of specific mental health conditions is essential to providing support and intervention. Each mental health condition carries its own complexities, impacting teenagers in unique ways and shaping their experiences of adolescence. 

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at statistics associated with various mental health conditions affecting teenagers in 2024, from anxiety to depression to trauma and substance use.

U 18 mental health stats (3)


Anxiety Disorders 

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health conditions seen in teenagers, impacting an estimated 31.9% of teens. Females are more likely than males to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders, and the prevalence tends to increase with age. The symptoms of anxiety disorders typically involve feelings of panic or excessive worrying.

Teen Anxiety Statistics: 
  • 31.9% of teens are estimated to have an anxiety disorder
  • 8.3% of teens with an anxiety disorder report severe impairment
  • Anxiety disorders are higher for teen girls (38%) than boys (26.1%)
  • Reports of anxiety disorders are highest in teens aged 17 to 18



Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S., with statistics revealing that approximately 20% of teenagers will experience a depressive episode by the age of 17. The prevalence of depression is higher among females compared to males.

Untreated, depression can have serious consequences, including trouble performing at school, social withdrawal, and an increased risk of suicide. Early identification and intervention are crucial for addressing depression effectively and promoting positive mental health outcomes for teens.

Teen Depression Statistics: 

  • 20% of teens will experience depression by the age of 17
  • 15.1% of teens have a major depressive episode
  • Girls are twice as likely as boys to have clinical depression
  • 3 in 4 young people with depression also have another mental disorder


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) 

OCD is characterized by experiencing persistent and uncontrollable thoughts (obsessions) and/or engaging in repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Statistics on teenage mental health indicate that OCD affects approximately 1 in 200 youth in the United States. Drawing from this data, in any medium to large high school, there could be as many as 20 teens with OCD. This disorder can significantly impact their academic performance, social relationships, and overall well-being. 

Through evidence-based treatments for OCD—such as exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy and medication—adolescents can learn to manage their symptoms effectively and lead fulfilling lives.

Teen OCD Statistics: 

Related article: How Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) Treats OCD at Compass Health Center

U 18 mental health stats (4)


Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 

Trauma—which can stem from experiences such as abuse, violence, natural disasters, or accidents—can often have long-term effects on mental health. Teen mental health statistics reveal that approximately 1 in 4 teenagers will have experienced a traumatic event by the age of 16. Following exposure to trauma, a portion of teenagers will develop PTSD, which is influenced by a variety of factors. This can include how severe the trauma is, how their parents or caregivers react to the trauma, and how much time has passed since the trauma occurred. 

This highlights the need for evidence-based, trauma-informed care. This approach recognizes the widespread impact of trauma on individuals’ lives and how they perceive and interact with the world, as well as its influence on their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Trauma-informed mental health treatment prioritizes safety, trustworthiness, choice, and collaboration in all aspects of care.

Teen Trauma Statistics:

  • 1 in 4 teenagers will have experienced a traumatic event by the age of 16
  • 83% of teens will experience at least one traumatic event in adolescence 
  • 19% of teens will experience to 3 or more traumatic events
  • Of the teens who experience trauma, approximately 15% of girls and 6% of boys develop PTSD


Suicide and Self-Harm 

Studies suggest that an estimated 13% to 17% of adolescents engage in self-harming behaviors, typically starting between the ages of 11 to 15 and peaking between 15 to 17. These behaviors can develop from underlying mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or trauma, and can worsen if left unaddressed.

Parents, educators, and healthcare professionals must be aware of the warning signs of suicidal ideation or self-harm to provide timely treatment and support. Typical warning signs may include withdrawing from friends, engaging in reckless behavior, displaying extreme mood swings, and eating or sleeping more or less than usual among others. Reach out to a mental health care professional for more information if you think your teen is displaying signs of suicide or self-harm. If a loved one is in immediate danger or has attempted suicide, do not leave them alone. Stay with them while you call 911 or take them to the nearest emergency room.

Teen Suicide Statistics: 

Related article: How to Talk About Suicide – A Guide for Clinicians, Family Members, and Loved Ones

U 18 mental health stats (5)


Screen Dependence 

Screen dependence is characterized by excessive and compulsive use of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. It has become a growing concern among children and teenagers in recent years as our world becomes more and more digitized. Studies show that a significant portion of teens are spending several hours each day in front of screens—averaging 7 hours and 22 minutes. During this time, they’re often engaging in activities such as social media, gaming, streaming content, and even schoolwork. 

That said, extended time spent using a screen can lead to symptoms of problematic screen dependence. This can include decreased academic performance, disrupted sleep patterns, social withdrawal, and an increased risk of mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. The normalization of screen use in today’s society presents challenges for parents, educators, and healthcare professionals in addressing teen screen dependence effectively.

Teen Screen Time Statistics: 


Substance Use 

Drug and alcohol use among teenagers is a serious and prevalent concern, affecting their health, well-being, and future. Peer influence, family history of substance abuse, and underlying mental health issues are among the risk factors associated with adolescent substance misuse.

Addressing drug and alcohol addiction in adolescents requires a multifaceted approach encompassing prevention, education, early intervention, and access to comprehensive treatment services.

Teen Addiction Statistics: 

  • 4.1% of teens experience a substance use disorder
  • 1.6% of teens experience an alcohol use disorder
  • Alcohol consumption is significantly higher among female teens (26.8%) compared to males (18.8%)
  • Deaths due to drug overdose among adolescents more than doubled from 2018 (253 deaths) to 2022 (723 deaths)


Immediate, Specialized Mental Health Treatment for Teens


Connect with our expert clinicians experienced in adolescent mental health care, ensuring support and guidance for your teen's well-being.

Schedule an Appointment


Factors Influencing Teen Mental Health

Statistics on teenage mental health reveal the intersectionality of various factors such as socioeconomic status, cultural norms, access to healthcare, and environmental stressors. This highlights the importance of considering diverse identities and experiences in addressing teen mental health disparities.


Social Environment 

Family dynamics, peer relationships, school environment, and community support systems influence teen mental health. Positive social connections and supportive relationships can promote resilience, while adverse social experiences such as bullying, social isolation, or family conflict can contribute to mental health issues.

  • 22.2% of teens report being bullied at school
  • Teens who are discriminated against based on race or ethnicity have a higher percentage of one or more mental health conditions (28.9% versus 17.8%).
  • LGBTQ youth who experience discrimination are 2.7 times more likely to attempt suicide
  • 17% of teens report experiencing emotional abuse by a parent


Environmental Stressors 

External stressors such as academic pressure, socioeconomic status, exposure to violence or trauma, cultural expectations, and societal norms can impact teen mental health. Environmental factors may exacerbate existing vulnerabilities or trigger the onset of mental health issues.

  • Teenagers from low-income households are at increased risk of mental health conditions
  • 22% of youth living below the federal poverty level have a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder
  • 15% of teens report experiencing neighborhood violence
  • Within a 30-day period, 8.7% of teens didn’t attend school due to safety concerns over gun violence.


Technology and Social Media 

The pervasive influence of digital technology and social media can impact teen mental health, affecting self-image, social comparison, sleep patterns, and interpersonal relationships. Excessive screen time, cyberbullying, and exposure to unrealistic beauty standards can contribute to feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem among teenagers.

  • 15.8% of teens report being bullied or harassed online
  • Rates of cyberbullying are higher among teen girls (22.4%) compared to boys (7.6%)
  • 92% of teens report extended use of screens 


Access to Resources

Knowing the facts about teen mental health and how many teenagers are impacted, it’s clear that easily accessible support services are essential for fostering a generation of emotionally resilient individuals. 

However, not all teens have access to adequate mental health resources. Marginalized groups, including low-income communities, minority populations, and rural communities, often face disproportionate barriers to accessing care. Environments where resources are limited or inaccessible due to factors such as financial constraints, cultural stigma, or geographical isolation, can exacerbate the vulnerabilities teenagers face. Without the care and guidance offered by mental health professionals or support networks, they may resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms or suffer in silence, further amplifying the stress on their mental well-being.

To support teenage mental health, we need to prioritize the equitable distribution and accessibility of resources. Online options like Compass Virtual offer a solution for teens where mental health services may be limited or non-existent. They can access specialized, comprehensive programs, including individual, group, and family therapy, psychiatry, and educational resources from the comfort of their own homes, eliminating the need for long commutes or expensive travel.

  • 60% of LGBTQ youth were unable to access mental health care in 2022
  • White youth are more likely to receive mental health care than youth of color
  • 50% of youth in the child welfare system have mental health disorders
  • 67% to 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosable mental health disorder
  • 700 to 800 Americans search for virtual mental health services each month

Related article: Understanding the Need for Immediate Mental Health Care



Supportive Mental Health Services for Teenagers

Knowing the statistics on teenage mental health provides important insights, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. 

Beyond understanding the numbers, parents must find the most effective and appropriate mental health services for their children. As parents, we want to explore all options—from researching available resources and consulting with professionals to understanding individual needs and preferences. It’s a holistic process that goes beyond mere awareness, involving proactive engagement and advocacy to ensure children and teens have immediate access to effective and specialized mental health care.

At Compass Health Center, we’re committed to providing evidence-based, comprehensive mental health support for teens. As a parent, we understand the stress you can be under when your child is struggling. We’re here to answer any questions you may have and provide support along every step of the treatment process—simply contact us to get started. 


Further Reading 


Brittney Teasdale

Associate Director of Brand Management