Articles (EN)

Around 210,000 students treated for depression, anxiety disorders since 2019

Nearly 210,000 children and teens in Korea visited a hospital for depression or anxiety disorders over the past four years, data from the National Health Insurance Service showed Thursday.

According to the data submitted to Rep. Kim Byong-wook of the ruling People Power Party, a total of 209,565 students under the age of 18 consulted a doctor for either depression or anxiety disorders from 2019 to the early half of 2022.

The number of such patients grew 25.8 percent from 50,433 in 2019 to 63,463 in 2021.

In the early half of 2022 alone, the figure came to 46,504, the report showed.

By illness type, 135,068 adolescents received treatment for depression, while those for anxiety disorders came to 74,497 during the four year period.

High school students, or adolescents between the ages of 16 to 18, accounted for the majority of patients with 63.8 percent.

"Mental health problems that occur during a person's adolescent years can impact the individual's family, social and work life throughout adulthood," Kim said.

"Education authorities should preemptively monitor the mental health of students from their kindergarten and elementary school stages, and support health care measures accordingly."

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