More than 1.3 million children under the age of 18 years—about one in 50 children—received mental health services in the U.S. in 1997. This is almost double the number of children who received those services in 1986. These estimates, based on the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) Client Patient Sample Survey, include only children seen in community mental health settings. The estimates are conservative as they do not include youth who consulted exclusively with individual therapists and paid for the treatment with private insurance or personal funds.
Of the children and youth receiving mental health services, 50.7% were adolescents aged 13-17 years, 40.3% were elementary school-aged children aged 6-12 years and 9.1% were pre-schoolers, aged 0-5 years. More boys (56.0%) than girls (44.0%) received mental health services.
Source: Pottick (2002); Pottick, Warner, Manderscheid, & Elhosseiny (2003)
Surveys: National Institute of Mental Health data, 1986; Center for Mental Health Services, Client Patient Sample Survey, 1997