Overview of Mental Health Resources in Albany, New York
Mental health needs are climbing all over the country. Albany is no different. While the area is more or less on par with the national average in mental health needs, it also has unique challenges.
About 19 percent of adults in Albany have a mental illness. Of these, roughly 4 percent have a serious mental illness. This means a mental illness that significantly affects their lives on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the suicide rate is 9.7 per 100,000 residents. The rate of self-injury leading to an ER visit is 12.8 per 100,000 residents. Both percentages are higher than the state average.
The area also has a not-insignificant substance abuse problem. This refers to both illicit drugs and alcohol. While estimates put rates of illicit drug use at only 3 percent, those numbers are climbing. Overdose-related hospital admissions jumped 64 percent between 2008–2010 and 2011–2013.
Meanwhile, roughly 8 percent of adults in the county suffer from an alcohol addiction. Almost 16 percent of adults in Albany said they had engaged in binge drinking in the past month. Of the people struggling with substance abuse, almost none seek care. Meanwhile, 2009 estimates say that 16.5 percent of adults in Albany use tobacco products.
Effects of Education, Divorce, Poverty, and Other Contributing Factors
The poverty level in Albany is 13 percent. This is lower than the New York state average but still significant. Poverty levels are an important part of mental health overviews for an area. This is because those who live in poverty are more likely to have mental illnesses and less likely to seek care. This might be due to lack of access or an inability to afford treatment.
Unemployment in Albany is on par with the national average at about 5 percent. Unemployment, like poverty, increases the risk of mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression. Because mental health care is not free, it can also make people less likely to seek care that they cannot afford.
Education rates are another important factor. People with higher levels of education are much more likely to seek care for mental illness. About 37 percent of adults in Albany have a bachelor’s or more advanced degree. Considering that many people in the region do not seek care, education is not the only factor. However, it is a significant one.
Divorce rates, meanwhile, give rise for unique opportunities in mental health care. Divorce is an emotional and stressful life event. Areas with high divorce rates need health care like marital and family counseling. Divorce in New York jumped by almost 12 percent between 2008 and 2014. Albany County, however, has one of the lowest divorce rates in New York, at about 2.56 percent.
Mental Health Resources in Albany
Albany has an active outreach to make mental health care more accessible to residents. These include both public and private services and programs. On top of counseling and psychiatric hospitals, the city is home to two mobile crisis units. These are available to residents at all hours. The Parsons Child and Adolescent Mobile Crisis Team caters to teens and children. This is one program that makes it easier for youth to seek mental health care, especially in crisis.
Albany also has several active suicide hotlines. These services are available at any time. The city also provides counseling services and other options for mental health care. Some of the programs are designed for children. This is important since mental illnesses in children are growing more prevalent. Children also often do not know how to reach out for help. Public services for juveniles are the best way to get young people the help they need.
The Challenges of Finding Mental Health Care in Albany
It is difficult to set out finding a therapist. Even if you know exactly what you are struggling with, you may not know what services you need. You may also be nervous to start therapy or feel unsure if it is right for you.
Our mental health care directory makes it easy to compare counselors in your area. It eliminates the need to contact your insurance company, who may not know what kind of therapist you need. With our directory, you can look at all the options in your area, so you can make an informed decision at your own pace. Start today to match with a counselor in Albany, New York.