CDC Report: Many Teens Get Non-medical Psych Services


“About 70 percent of U.S. teens who have serious emotional or behavioral difficulties receive mental health services that don’t involve taking medications,” reports LiveScience, discussing a new comprehensive report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about what sorts of mental health services teens have been accessing.

“About 4 percent of all adolescents ages 12 to 17 had a serious mental health problem and had received nonmedication services in the previous six months,” reports LiveScience. The most common form of nonmedical service being accessed was counseling in schools. Some of these same teens were also accessing psychiatric medical services at the same time, though.

“There are many nonmedication mental health services that have evidence that they are effective for treating mental health disorders, so it is important to know whether teens are receiving services,” psychiatrist Dr. David Axelson told LiveScience.

Two-Thirds of US Teens with Mental Health Problems Get Counseling (LiveScience, August 27, 2014)

Use of Selected Nonmedication Mental Health Services by Adolescent Boys and Girls With Serious Emotional or Behavioral Difficulties: United States, 2010–2012 (NCHS Data Brief, Number 163, August 2014.)

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Rob Wipond
Rob Wipond is a freelance journalist who writes frequently on the interfaces between psychiatry, civil rights, policing, surveillance and privacy, and social change. His articles have been nominated for seventeen magazine and journalism awards. His book Your Consent is Not Required: The Rise in Psychiatric Detentions, Forced Treatment, and Abusive Guardianships will be released in January 2023, and can be pre-ordered through BenBella or major online booksellers. He can be contacted through his website.


    • And what are the non-medical psych services? A lot of what passes for “counseling” these days is nothing more than checking in and making sure they keep on their “medication.” Especially in the school setting, I’m betting most of them aren’t getting anything that I’d call counseling.

      —- Steve

    • It seems to be talking about “serious mental health” issues, and I’m quite certain such issues, according to psychiatry, absolutely require drugs for life. “Some of these same teens were also accessing psychiatric medical services at the same time.” What percent? I could have sworn I read that one of the new mental illnesses in the DSM5 was created specifically because the doctors had 7% of the American children diagnosed with bipolar, and they realized that was too many.