Overview of Mental Health Resources in Amarillo, Texas
Amarillo is the biggest city in the Texas panhandle. It is the 14th largest city in the State of Texas, boasting a population of close to 200,000. Unlike a lot of other developed cities in Texas, Amarillo is much more rural than you would expect. The city has suffered a serious economic depression over the last decade which has led to a serious poverty issue amongst its residents.
The per-capita income for Amarillo is under $29,000 which isn’t much different than the national average. However, this number is low when you consider the poverty rate is not much less than this.
Over 30% of the population of Amarillo is Hispanic. This helps explain why so many people in the city are unable to receive mental health treatment. It is a fact that non-English speaking people face greater barriers when it comes to getting mental health information.
Mental Health Statistics for Amarillo
There is a pervasive problem in Amarillo for people not receiving the mental health treatment they need. A great part of the problem is that many residents live on the outskirts of the city where there just aren’t many mental health professionals.
Some of the biggest mental health issues in Amarillo are anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia and depression. In an effort to improve access to mental health care in the Panhandle, Texas has recently passed a bill to improve mental health resources. However, the effects of this bill have certainly not been felt yet.
Impact of Not Receiving Treatment in Amarillo, Texas
Due to the predominance of the Hispanic population along with the low-income level in Amarillo, there is a great number of people who don’t receive the mental health treatment they need. There are currently about 171 mental health professionals for every 100,000 people in Texas. These numbers are not as impressive when you look at the Panhandle area.
Economic depression and lack of communication are the biggest contributors to a lack of mental health treatment. This can lead to numerous problems, including:
- Substance abuse issues
Hopefully, the new government initiatives will help in this area, but the improvements are going to take years.
What Makes Amarillo Unique When It Comes to Mental Health?
The flat prairie lands of Amarillo give off the impression of lazy days and hard work. However, the nature of the land is just one more reason why people are more susceptible to depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
- Culture: Amarillo does not share the same climate as the rest of Texas. The city experiences extremely cold lows (below 0) and even more extremely high days. Because of the flat land, there is nowhere to hide from the extreme temperatures.
- Demographics: The percentage of non-English speaking, Hispanic population in Amarillo is close to 60%. This lends itself to a lack of information to mental health resources.
- Unemployment Rate: Although the unemployment rate in Amarillo is technically only 3.0%, the issue is that there are thousands of people who have never been legally employed. The number of migrant workers and unemployable people in the city is staggering.
- Socioeconomic Factors: The per-capita income and median-household incomes are so low in Amarillo, that they lead to serious mental health issues. The problem is compounded when you consider that so many people in Amarillo have no money or access to mental health resources.
Divorce Rate in Amarillo
The divorce rate in Amarillo is almost 11%. This is a bit higher than the rest of the population but this isn’t surprising when you consider the recent economic depression in Amarillo. This number also does not account for the undocumented marriages and divorces in the Panhandle.
One reason the divorce rate isn’t higher than the already high number of 11% is the Amarillo actually publishes the names of everyone who gets divorced. Getting divorced is already a scary, painful and frustrating process. This is compounded greatly with the shame factor of having your divorce broadcasted for all to see.
If couples had access to mental health counseling, the divorce rate would likely be lower. There would also be less shame associated with the decision to divorce if people were counseled on how to best handle the situation.
Mental Health Resources in Amarillo
With the economic depression taking place in the Panhandle right now, it is to be expected that people are going to suffer from mental health issues. Anxiety, depression, bipolar and schizophrenia are the most prevalent mental health disorders in Amarillo.
There are about 350 mental health professionals in Amarillo. The problem is that they are located in the city and are not readily available to the thousands of people living on the prairies.
E-Counseling Solves the Challenge of Finding a Therapist in Amarillo
E-Counseling wants to help people have access to mental health treatment. While the city of Amarillo works hard to improve access to care, E-Counseling is working hard to get the information into the hands of people who desperately need help.