Mental Health

  • Youth Suicide Rates

    One of DCYF’s health goals is for youth to experience positive behavioral and mental health. Trends in mental health over the past decade show an increase in rates of suicide and attempted suicide. Between 2013 and 2021, rates of youth suicide and attempted suicide have increased by more than 600%.

    Rate of Suicide and Suicide Attempts per 100,000 Adolescents Age 10-17, 2013-2021
    Suicide and Suicide Attempts per 100,000 Adolescents Age 10-17, 5 Year Rate, 2017-2021
  • Foster Care and Mental Health

    A DCYF strategic priority is to improve the quality and availability of provider services. As an outcome indicator, we are monitoring the needs and provided treatment of children and youth in foster care. Research shows that exposure to traumatic events and chronic stress — such as poverty, housing instability, family conflict, abuse and neglect, and exposure to caregivers’ mental illness or substance use disorder — contribute to the greater behavioral health needs of children and youth experiencing out-of-home care.

    Needs and Treatment of Children and Youth in Foster Care, SFY 2014-2021
  • Juvenile Rehabilitation and Mental Health

    Another outcome indicator for the strategic priority to improve the quality and availability of provider services is mental health need and parole aftercare availability for youth and young adults released from Juvenile Rehabilitation facilities. Post-release aftercare services increase the likelihood that youth and young adults will reenter their communities and live socially responsible and stable lifestyles. About half of youth and young adults with identified mental health needs are released with no parole aftercare services. DCYF continues to strive to find creative ways to service the unfunded post-release needs of this group. Each year, among the youth and young adults who are released to Intensive Parole services, more than half have identified mental health needs.

    Youth and Young Adults Released from Juvenile Rehabilitation, by Identified Mental Health Need and Parole Aftercare, SFY 2016-2023
  • Youth Depression

    In 2021, the HYS surveyed 9,378 10th-graders in Washington. Of the 8,506 who reported their living situations, 8,150 (95.8%) lived with parents/guardians, 194 (2.3%) lived with other relatives, 30 (0.4%) lived in foster care, and 132 (1.6%) lived with others or on their own. Of those living with parents/guardians, 37.4 percent reported feeling depressed, compared to 52 percent of students who did not live with parents/guardians.

    10th Graders Reporting Depression, by Living Situation, 2021
      10th Grade Depression