Almost 15% of U.S. Children Were Treated for Mental Health Disorders in 2021

    Almost 15% of U.S. children were treated for mental health disorders in 2021, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The findings suggest that mental health disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or anxiety are common in school-age children, CNN reports.

    Researchers analyzed data from the 2021 National Health Interview Survey. They found children aged 12–17 years were more likely to have received any mental health treatment (including having taken prescription medication and received counseling or therapy from a mental health professional) in the past 12 months (18.9%) compared with children aged 5–11 years (11.3%).

    Boys were more likely than girls to have taken prescription medication for their mental health in the past 12 months (9.0% and 7.3%, respectively).

    Dr. Rebecca Baum, a professor of general pediatrics and adolescent medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who was not involved in the study, told CNN there is concern that many children with mental health disorders, such as anxiety, still are not getting the treatment they need.