SAMHSA Provides State-Level Data On Depression

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Approximately 9 percent of youths aged 12 to 17, and 7.6 percent of adults aged 18 or older, experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year.

SAMHSA Administrator Terry Cline, Ph.D., released the findings at a Mental Health America meeting held in Washington, DC, on June 9th.

The new analysis from SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that among 12 to 17 year olds, rates of past year MDE were among the highest in Idaho (10.4 percent) and Nevada (10.3 percent). The rates were among the lowest in Louisiana (7.2 percent) and South Dakota (7.4 percent).

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"The complexities associated with mental health problems leave states with a heavy responsibility to provide effective and responsive mental health promotion, treatment and recovery support services. These data add to the information state mental health authorities use to plan for and allocate resources," SAMHSA Administrator Terry Cline, PhD said.

State estimates of past year MDE were produced using data from the combined 2004 and 2005 NSDUH surveys. The prevalence of MDE in each state is based on standard definitions and survey methods applied uniformly throughout the nation.

According to the survey, rates of past year MDE among adults aged 18 or older were among the highest in Utah (10.1 percent) and Rhode Island (9.9 percent). Hawaii and New Jersey had rates among the lowest (6.7 percent and 6.8 percent respectively).

The survey also showed that there were few statistically significant differences across states in the rates of past year MDE among youths and adults. The survey did not look at reasons for the interstate variances.

MDE, as defined by the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), specifies a period of two weeks or longer during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure and at least four other symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, and self-image.

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