DefinitionPercentage of adolescents (12-17 years of age) who reported having experienced a major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year on the [https://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/ICPSR/series/64 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)]. Adolescents were defined as having an MDE if they had a period of 2 weeks or longer in the past 12 months when they experienced a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities, and they had at least four additional symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, and self-worth.
NumeratorWeighted number of adolescents (12-17 years of age) who reported having an MDE within the past year on the NSDUH.
DenominatorWeighted number of adolescents (12-17 years of age) with complete and valid responses on the NSDUH to the question on having an MDE within the past year.
Data Interpretation IssuesThe National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is a nationally standardized survey that has been performed since 1971. The NSDUH is completed annually using a sample from the U.S. civilian, non-institutionalized population 12 years of age and older. In 1999, the sample design expanded to include all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In 2002, the name of the survey was changed from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) to the NSDUH. Information on background and methodology of the NSDUH, managed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), can be found at: [https://nsduhweb.rti.org/respweb/project_description.html].
Recent data are predominantly from the 2-year averages of NSDUH surveys from Population Data - NSDUH at: [https://www.samhsa.gov/data/population-data-nsduh/reports?tab=33]. Historic data with maps and data downloads are available from the small area estimates website for state and national NSDUH surveys at: [http://pdas.samhsa.gov/saes/state].
The 12-month prevalence data for major depressive episode presented here are from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Based mainly on the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV),^1^ in the NSDUH study a major depressive episode is defined as 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. Adolescents were defined as having an MDE with severe impairment if their depression caused severe problems with their ability to do chores at home, do well at work or school, get along with their family, or have a social life.
Unlike the definition in the DSM-IV, no exclusions were made for a major depressive episode caused by medical illness, bereavement, or substance use disorders.
Why Is This Important?Depression affects adolescents in every part of the United States. Depression has been shown to affect adolescents' physical, emotional, and social development.^2^ Adolescents who suffer from depression are at increased risk for substance use, high-risk sexual behaviors, problems at school, problems with peer and family relationships, and suicide attempts.^2^ Like many mental disorders, depression can emerge during adolescence, and the prevalence of major depressive episode (MDE) generally increases with age through the adolescent years. Studies have shown that there is nearly a twofold increase in mood disorders from the 13- and 14-year-old age group to the 17- and 18-year-old age group.^2^ Information on the prevalence of major depressive episodes can inform policymakers' and prevention specialists' efforts to develop effective education, treatment, and prevention programs in their communities.
In 2016, an estimated 3.1 million adolescents 12 to 17 years of age in the United States had at least one major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year. This number represented 12.8% of the U.S. population aged 12 to 17. The adolescent prevalence of MDE was 19.4% among females and 6.4% among males.^3^ Adolescents in 2016 who had an MDE with severe impairment (9.0%, 2.2 million) represent more than two-thirds (70.5%) of adolescents who had a past year MDE.^4^
1. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 4th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association;1994.
2. Lipari RN, Hughes A, Williams M. State estimates of major depressive episode among adolescents: 2013 and 2014. [https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_2385/ShortReport-2385.html]. Published July 7, 2016. Accessed May 16, 2017.
3. National Institute of Mental Health. Major depression among adolescents. [https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adolescents.shtml]. Accessed May 16, 2017.
4. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. [http://www.samhsa.gov/data/]. Accessed February 14, 2017.
Healthy People Objective: Reduce the proportion of persons who experience major depressive episode (MDE): Adolescents aged 12 to 17 yearsU.S. Target: 7.4 percent
How Are We Doing?From 2005-2006 to 2015-2016, there was a significant increase in the percentage of adolescents (12-17 years of age) who reported having a past year MDE in Alaska. During 2005-2006, 8.6% of Alaska adolescents reported having a MDE in the past year compared to 15.2% of Alaska adolescents during 2015-2016.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?There was no significant difference in the percentage of adolescents (12-17 years of age) who reported having a past year MDE in Alaska compared to the U.S. during the period from 2005-2006 to 2015-2016.
What Is Being Done?In an effort to provide comprehensive behavioral health care statewide, the Alaska Division of Behavioral Health offers screening, prevention, and brief intervention services to the general population. The Division also provides services to individuals experiencing crises or emotional distress, seriously emotionally disturbed youth, and individuals battling substance use disorders.^5^
The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) offers a selection of training programs and resources on its Suicide Awareness, Prevention, and Postvention website.^6^ Free training is available is available to educators using an adaptation of Gatekeeper, an Alaska designed suicide prevention program.^7^
The Fourth R in Alaska is a partnership between the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development and the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. The Fourth R is a comprehensive school-based program designed to include students, teachers, parents, and the community in reducing violence and many of today's risk behaviors. The Fourth R (R = Relationships) focuses on healthy relationships and decision-making relevant to adolescents.^8^
Alaska community-based coalitions are implementing "Sources of Strength"^9^ and "Signs of Suicide."^10^
The Alaska Training Cooperative (AKTC) Learning Management System (LMS), is an online resource for training and educational opportunities in Alaska for providers who serve the beneficiaries of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority. It is administered under the University of Alaska, Anchorage, College of Health's Center for Human Development. It is responsible for providing non-academic trainings, professional development and continuing education programs to Alaska's behavioral health workforce serving Trust beneficiaries. The AKTC LMS is a web-based system that offers a one-stop shop of training opportunities.^11^
5. State of Alaska, Division of Behavioral Health. Welcome to behavioral health. [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dbh/Pages/default.aspx]. Accessed May 18, 2017.
6. State of Alaska, Department of Education and Early Development. Suicide awareness, prevention, and postvention. [https://education.alaska.gov/tls/suicide/]. Accessed June 21, 2017.
7. State of Alaska, Suicide Awareness and Prevention Trainings. [https://education.alaska.gov/tls/suicide/pdf/staff_suicide_awareness_prevent_trainings.pdf]. Accessed June 21, 2017.
8. What is the Fourth R? [http://www.andvsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Fourth-R-Info-Sheet-May-2013.pdf]. Accessed June 21, 2017.
9. Sources of Strength. [https://sourcesofstrength.org/]. Accessed June 21, 2017.
10. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SOS signs of suicide middle school and high school prevention programs. [http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ProgramProfile.aspx?id=85]. Accessed June 21, 2017.
11. The Alaska Training Cooperative. [https://aktclms.org/]. Accessed June 21, 2017.
Evidence-based PracticesSAMHSA maintains a website that collects the latest in mental health prevention evidence based practices. The link can be found here [https://www.samhsa.gov/ebp-web-guide/prevention-mental-health-disorders]. The site also collects evidence based practices for the treatment of mental health disorders, which can be found here [https://www.samhsa.gov/ebp-web-guide/mental-health-treatment].