Adolescence is a time of rapid change in multiple aspects of self and life. The brain and body is still developing, and individuals transition to increasing independence and responsibility. Significant situational changes also occur, including first-time romantic relationships, changing schools, leaving school, and entering the workforce or higher education.
At any one time, 10 to 20 per cent of young people have mental health disorders that are severe enough to cause significant functional impairment to warrant treatment. Rates of behaviour disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, depression and suicidal behaviour have all increased substantially in young people.
Adolescent psychiatric conditions are traditionally divided into two main groups, emotional disorders and behavioural or disruptive disorders. Children with emotional disorders exhibit disordered emotions, typically anxiety and depression, whereas those with behavioural disorders display abnormal conduct.