WHO Reports Depression as the Top Global Cause of Illness and Disability for Teens

by | Published on Jul 29, 2014 | Healthcare News

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A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and causes pain. According to the Stanford School of Medicine, over 9 million American adults suffer from clinical depression each year. Major depressive disorder has significant potential morbidity and mortality, contributing to suicide, incidence and adverse outcomes of medical illness. With appropriate treatment, 70-80% of individuals with major depressive disorder can achieve a significant reduction in symptoms.

The latest report from the World Health Organization (WHO) finds depression as the major cause of illness and disability in teenagers worldwide. In its report on adolescent health, the U.N agency also found that road traffic injuries, HIV/AIDS, and suicide are the top three causes of death for teenagers.

The report titled ‘Health for the World’s Adolescents: A Second Chance in the Second Decade,’ is based on a review of health policies from 109 countries. The authors not only studied a variety of published evidence, but also focused on consultations with children and adolescents from across the globe, ranging from 10 to 19 years of age.

The agency has pulled together a wealth of published evidence with direct consultations with 10 to 19-year-olds around the world to assess the health issues that affect them.

The report states that in 2012 an estimated 1.3 million adolescent deaths occurred; most of them from causes that could have been prevented or treated. Road traffic injuries are reported to be the leading cause of adolescent deaths globally and the second cause of illness and disability.

The report also points to significant progress since 2000 in reducing deaths resulting from complications of pregnancy and childbirth among adolescents, particularly in regions where maternal mortality rates are highest.

“If adolescents with mental health problems get the care they need, this can prevent deaths and avoid suffering throughout life,” the WHO says in the release. The agency also notes that teenage years are a critical time for laying the foundations of good health in adulthood. Many health-related behaviors and conditions behind major chronic diseases start during this period of life.

The report is expected to help provide high-level attention on the health needs of 10 to 19-year-olds and serve as a springboard for accelerated action on adolescent health.

Reliable Mental Health Services – Vital in Terms of Timely Care Provision

The importance of reliable mental health services can never be overemphasized. Mental health services are reimbursed, when providers submit medical claims with the accurate diagnosis and procedure codes. Psychiatry billing involves the correct use of relevant ICD diagnosis codes and CPT Procedure Codes.


  • 311 Depressive disorder, not elsewhere classified
  • 296.2 Major depressive disorder single episode
  • 296.30 Major depressive affective disorder, recurrent episode, unspecified


  • F32.3 Major depressive disorder, single episode, severe with psychotic features
  • F32.9 Major depressive disorder, single episode, unspecified
  • F33.9 Major depressive disorder, recurrent, unspecified

Medical billing may be challenging for mental health services that include the following:

  • Screening and treatment of the mental health problem
  • Case management and coordination
  • Consultation with other service providers
  • Use of telemedicine for providing services
  • Outreach and education.

Psychiatry medical billing also involves the correct use of Evaluation and Management (E&M) CPT codes such as 99201 – 99205 or 99215 that is to be reported along with the ICD code in a depression claim. Providers offering mental health services will find the support of a reliable medical billing and coding company immensely helpful.

Outsource Strategies International.

Being an experienced medical billing and coding company in the U.S., OSI is dedicated to staying abreast of the latest industry guidelines. Our services provide comprehensive support for the success of your practice.

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