Feb 29, 2024 - News

Depression, anxiety on the rise among Tennessee kids

Illustrated collage of people with their heads in their hands, anonymous faces and brain scans.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Nearly 1 in 3 Tennessee children has been diagnosed with a mental health condition, according to the 2024 Vanderbilt Child Health Poll.

  • Seventeen percent of Tennessee children ages 6-17 have been diagnosed with anxiety, while 10% have been diagnosed with depression, per the statewide poll of parents.

Why it matters: Rates of anxiety and depression among children have risen over the last five years of polling.

Yes, but: Less than half of children diagnosed with anxiety or depression received treatment, per an overview of the poll results.

What they're saying: "Untreated conditions are a major concern for both families and professionals," Heather Kreth, a clinical pediatric psychologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said in a statement.

  • "Tennessee continues to rank poorly compared to other states on measures of parity and access."
  • "More must be done to address these gaps."

The fine print: The poll surveyed 1,025 Tennessee parents with children under 18 from Oct. 25-Nov. 22, 2023. The margin of error varies for each question.

Read more poll findings

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