Mental health sufferers TWICE as likely to have conviction

Up to seven per cent of teenage mental health sufferers have criminal convictions, new research has found.

This compares with 3.6 per cent in the general population without depression – double the rate.

The findings have prompted experts to suggest that depression in adolescents is linked with a modest increase in the risk of violence later on in life.  

Indeed, high rates of depression have previously been reported among teenagers in juvenile detention and correctional facilities, the researchers point out. 

Study author Professor Seena Fazel, from the Forensic Psychiatry Group at the University of Oxford, said the results emphasise the need for early detection and intervention.

He said: 'This research adds to the evidence of the many potential harms of untreated depression in young people. 

Increased impulsivity, hostility and poor self-regulation may explain why depressed teenagers are twice as likely to commit violent criminal offences (file photo)

'Second, it suggests that closer liaison between criminal justice and mental health might prevent violence in high-risk individuals.'  

Around 1.4% of 11-16 year-olds, or around 62,000, in the UK are seriously depressed, according to the charity YoungMinds.

TEENS WHO INCREASE MARIJUANA USE RISK DEPRESSION

Teenagers who increase their marijuana use with age have a greater risk of depression, an inability to experience pleasure and poor educational achievements in later life, recent research reveals.

Men who infrequently use cannabis at age 15 but dramatically increase their use up to 19 years old, are more at risk than those who consistently take the drug throughout their teens, a study found.

Lead author Dr Erika Forbes from the University of Pittsburgh, said: 'We expected to see that the young men who had a high, consistent

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