Teen mental health is poor and has been on the decline for decades. In my last column, I described U.S. teens’ declining mental health, increasing thoughts of suicide, and increasing attempts at suicide. In today’s column, I explain why teen mental health is so bad today.

Adolescent mental health and well-being deteriorated between 2011 to 2021, according to data from the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2021, 42% of high school students reported feeling so sad or hopeless that they could not engage in their regular activities for at least two weeks during the year while 22% of high school students seriously considered suicide and 10% reported attempting suicide during the last year. The statistics are even worse for teen girls.

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