Adolescent Mental Health – Opportunity and Obligation

Article in the 2014 -547 issue of Science by Lee et al discussing the prevalence of adolescent mental illness and the social costs of underdiagnosis and treatment. Although the article is in essence a call to action for a more aggressive response to this need, the statistics and facts presented are compelling.



“The adolescent brain is more “plastic” than it will ever be again, capable of remarkable adaptability in light of the many social, physical, sexual, and intellectual challenges that this developmental phase brings. This is also a peak time for clinical onset of most mental illnesses (see the chart). One in five adolescents have a mental illness that will persist into adulthood. Mental illnesses that emerge before adulthood impose a 10-fold higher cost than those that emerge later in life. Mental health costs are the highest single source of global economic burden in the world.”

Your can download the pdf of the full article here:

Adolescent Mental Health – Opportunity and Obligation

NPR Interview with Dr. Frances Jensen:

Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone, and Should Protect Their Brains