In recent years, there has been an ever so increasing spike of depression in teens; few of which are available to the help they need. This problem can be better helped by giving more teens access to easy-to-access, non-profit programs that specialize in helping the issue.

Let’s start with the facts. Around 20% of adolescents are depressed at one point before they have reached adulthood. According to the CDC, 19% of teenagers have seriously considered the idea of suicide. Even worse, 9% of teens attempted it. 

Percentage of people who have difficulties in general life due to depression (12 years or older). Chart provided by the CDC
Suicide rate’s increases and decreases since 1999. Map provided by the CDC

Suicide is the second-highest leading cause of death in teens (harmful accidents being the first). Considering all of this, the worst part is only 30% of teens are being treated for depression. If we get that number up, the number of suicides come down.

To “get that number up”, we need to expand already existing programs that help teens with their issues by letting them talk with certified professionals; therapy is one of the most effective treatments for depression. Considering different teens are in different circumstances, some will have harder chances at getting the help they need, as many of the teens in trouble are below the poverty line and limited financially. Therefore, these programs will need to be non-profit organizations, accessible to the general public. Some of these programs include the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service (SAMHSA), and the American Psychological Association (APA), all of which positively affect the lives of adolescents.

SAMHSA’s headquarters located in Rockville, Maryland
APA’s headquarters located in Washington D.C.

Though, an increase in these organizations brings the argument that an expanse in these nonprofits comes at a literal price. Organizations like these are federally funded with taxpayer dollars. Some would think that this federal money should be used elsewhere if even used at all. But as most would agree, this is a necessary step in lowering the rates of depression and suicide of our country’s youth, further promoting a more successful future.  

To bring this solution further into the public’s eye, organizations need to form more “walks” and other movements. With this, as well as promoting government funding, more of these movements will further reach and inform the teens with depression of a potential solution to their problems, giving them options some didn’t know they had.

NAMI hosting an awareness walk in Brazos Valley, Texas

Overall, more social programs helping and treating troubled teens, plus the brighter light being shed onto the organizations, would equal a positive, indefinite help to this country’s epidemic. 


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