An Overview of Mental Health in Albany, Georgia
Albany is a small town in southwest Georgia. The population of 73,179 has experienced tremendous changes over the years. This city by the Flint River was once known for its cotton fields, pecan trees and peanut crops but over time the city has been influenced by meat processing, manufacturing and a Marine Corps Logistics Base. The city is also known for its activism against the Jim Crow system, and its achievements are commemorated in the Albany Civil Rights Institute.
The city is home to Albany State University, Albany Technical College and Darton State College. Top employers in the city, in addition to the universities, include Integra Business Alternatives, MillerCoors, Procter and Gamble Paper Products and Walmart.
Mental Health in Albany
Albany can be a difficult place to live. Here are some of the challenges that residents in the area may have to face.
- Poverty: 2% of Albany residents live in poverty, a rate that is higher than that of the surrounding county, state and country. When there isn’t much money, mental health needs are often overlooked.
- Crime: Albany makes the top ten of most violent cities in Georgia. It also ranks in the top 50 worst cities in the US on a number of measures. Higher crime rates can often lead to unique mental health challenges for victims and the overall community.
- Chronic Illness: A community health needs assessment (CHNA) identified chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease as a main concern in the Dougherty County region, with obesity being one identifiable risk factor. In addition to physical challenges, individuals who are sick or caregiving for a friend or family member may face mental health issues.
- Shrinking Population: The population in Albany has been declining, likely due to the lack of economic opportunities. Unfortunately, this perpetuates the cycle of a lower tax base leading to less investment in education and health care services.
- Substance Abuse and Addiction: The CHNA also identified addiction as a top concern for the population in the area. Those struggling with addiction could also benefit from mental health support as they pursue sobriety.
- “Fragile Families”: According to statistics in the CHNA, many children in southwest Georgia live in a non-stable family environment which often increases the need for behavioral health support.
Mental Health Resources in Albany
Georgia, unfortunately, has high prevalence of mental illness and low access to care. Even with a difficult state backdrop, there are resources available in Albany. A diverse range of male and female counselors serve residents in the area.
The counselors have earned qualifications such as licensed professional counselor, certified clinical trauma professional, master addiction counselor, national certified counselor, licensed clinical social worker and licensed marriage and family counselor.
No matter their background, these counselors will work with you to design a care plan that meets your needs and goals. They can be trusted to provide the understanding care you need. These therapists draw from different modalities in their work including the following forms of therapy.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Interpersonal Therapy
- Solution Focused Therapy
- Psychodynamic Techniques
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
They have helped clients cope with and recover from many challenging situations including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress, sexual trauma, low self-esteem, grief and loss, major life changes, relationship issues, family conflicts, anger management and career difficulties.
The Challenge of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Albany
Given the poverty trends in Albany, many residents likely face financial obstacles to obtaining care. Similarly, the 21.5% of the population who doesn’t have health insurance may find also find it difficult to access the care they need. Stigma is another reason that keeps individuals from seeking help, despite the evolving national conversation around mental health.
When there are financial or other challenges impeding care, it can be good to start with free help lines and support groups offered by community groups and non-profits. These organizations may also offer counseling on a sliding scale basis. You could also investigate new forms of therapy, such as text- and video-based options, which can help address the affordability and stigma issues.
Find a Therapist in Albany
We recognize that it can be difficult to find a care provider in Albany, so we have put together a directory of counselors at E-Counseling. In reviewing this list, you’re sure to find a therapist who can meet your unique needs and help you process whatever challenging situation or season you are facing.