CDC report shows an alarming increase in depression and suicidal ideation among teenage girls

By Regence
February 16, 2023
teen girl

Regence members have access to care that fits personal needs, including virtual mental health

High school students in the U.S., particularly teenage girls, are facing a significant mental health crisis according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report cites data from 2011 to 2021, finding nearly 60% of female students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2021. The percentage is twice that of male students and the highest level reported in the past decade.

Also alarming is that nearly 25% of female students made a suicide plan, according to the report. Not only is this finding higher than the 14% of male students who shared the same thoughts in 2021, but it’s an increase from the 19% of female students who reported considering suicide in 2011.

Among students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning or another non-heterosexual identity (LGBQ+), close to 70% experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness during the past year, and almost 25% attempted suicide during the same period.

Despite Black students being less likely to report persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness than some groups, they were much more likely to have attempted suicide than Asian, Hispanic and white students.

The report highlights additional factors that significantly impact teenage health and well-being, like sexual behavior, substance use and experience with violence. The findings shed light on the role high schools can play in shaping students’ mental health and providing a safe space for students to learn.

We’re here to help

Whether you or your teen needs occasional emotional support or ongoing mental health care, we can help you find the behavioral health care option that fits your needs. Virtual behavioral health care options provide quick, convenient resources for Regence members and their families. Regence members can also sign in to their member account or call our customer service team at the number listed on their ID card to view the virtual care and traditional behavioral health options available through their health plan.

If you’re experiencing a mental health emergency, dial 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The lifeline provides free, confidential, 24/7 support to anyone who’s depressed, needs to talk or is thinking about suicide.