SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - In the last 10-years, in kids 12-to-17, depression has doubled.
That was one focus of an online "community talk", Monday night, looking at underage drinking and teen mental health.
Looking at statistics provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, depression among teens in Nebraska jumped form 7.7% ten years ago… to 13.6%. In Iowa, depression rose from 7.0% ten years ago to 16.2%. "It's pretty alarming," said Jennifer Jackson, Heartland Counseling Services. "The national average is that 41-percent of kids receive help, but in Iowa and Nebraska, only 46-percent of kids that have been diagnosed with depression, or who are struggling with depression, are getting the help they need."
Jackson says there are several signs that teachers, parents and friends can look for in teens if they are suffering from depression. They include: increased irritability, energy loss, sleeping more, a change in behavior, and feelings of helplessness. "If you, or your child's mental health interferes with the four basic things… social activities, their interests, school work, or family life… then I would say it's time to seek out some assistance and get help," said Jackson.
Jackson says early intervention is key. The earlier that a parent, a friend, a teacher, or a counselor, can talk to these teens-- about the struggles they are facing-- the better.
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