What are the numbers?

  • Around 20% of the world's children and adolescents have mental disorders or problems¹
  • About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14. Similar types of disorders are being reported across cultures. Neuropsychiatric disorders are among the leading causes of worldwide disability in young people. Yet, regions of the world with the highest percentage of population under the age of 19 have the poorest level of mental health resources. Most low- and middle-income countries have only one child psychiatrist for every 1 to 4 million people. ¹
  • Mental health and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide¹
  • About 23% of all years lost because of disability is caused by mental and substance use disorders.¹
  • About 800 000 people commit suicide every year¹
  • Over 800 000 people die due to suicide every year and suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. There are indications that for each adult who died of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide. 75% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries. Mental disorders and harmful use of alcohol contribute to many suicides around the world. Early identification and effective management are key to ensuring that people receive the care they need.¹

Myth: Children don't experience mental health problems.


  • Even very young children may show early warning signs of mental health concerns. These mental health problems are often clinically diagnosable , and can be a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors.¹
  • Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24.¹
  • Unfortunately, less than 20% of children and adolescents with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need. Early mental health support can help a child before problems interfere with other developmental needs.¹

¹U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Facts About Mental Health:

Click on the Child Mind Institute® Logo above to see their "2017 Children’s Mental Health Report".

Click on NAMI's logo above see their "Mental Health Facts CHILDREN and TEENS" visual

PDF. This PDF gives great statistics in a one page visual.