An Overview of Mental Health in Appleton, Wisconsin
There’s something magical about Appleton, Wisconsin. The internationally renowned escape artist and magician Harry Houdini grew up in Appleton. The city of Appleton boasts a stellar list of awards, inventions and famous people. A city of notable achievements, Appleton invented the first hydroelectric plant along with the first electrically-illuminated home and hotel in the nation. Hydroelectric power produced the first U.S. cable car run entirely by electricity.
Sports Illustrated once featured a cover story on Appleton sports. Many baseball and basketball professionals got their start here. A host of famous musicians, actors and writers also developed their talents in Appleton.
Also, the city contains several impressive corporate headquarters and major business centers. Appleton is profit-friendly to entrepreneurs, proven by its growing number of successful small companies and start-ups.
Factors in Appleton Can Impact Mental Health
The United States census estimates Appleton’s population as 74,653, making it the 6th largest Wisconsin city. The city spans the counties of Outagamie, Winnebago and Calumet with the largest geographic area of Appleton located in Outagamie County.
Appleton’s total divorce rate by race is 11.6 percent with 1.2 percent of couples married but separated. The highest divorce rate is among Hawaiian couples at almost 50 percent of the total, followed by Blacks and those who identify as “Other” at around 17 and 15 percent respectively. Hispanics represent 12 percent, and Asians account for 6.5 percent of total divorced couples. Multiple races form the remaining percentage.
About 12.11 percent of Appleton residents live below the poverty line with Blacks forming over 53.23 percent of the total, followed by those who identify as Other at 30.78 percent. Citizens who identify as Multiple races form 29.26 percent; Hispanics make up 26.46 percent of the total, followed by Asians at 13.80 percent and Whites at 9.69 percent.
Like many states in the country, Wisconsin must contend with mental illness due to the endemic trafficking of controlled and illegal substances. Drugs can cause a large number of people to develop highly severe mental illnesses.
Over a hundred available jobs for mental health professionals remain unfilled in Appleton. Inadequate marriage counseling availability has far-reaching effects for broken families. Divorce correlates with an increase in childhood trauma and deterioration in mental health and behavior. Their parental relationships deteriorate along with their learning ability. Teens from divorced families also exhibit a higher incidence of violence and an increase in physical illnesses.
Roadblocks to Mental Health Services in Appleton
For youth living in Wisconsin, suicide is second only to car accidents as the leading cause of death. Depressed teens stay silent. They fear the stigma of peers calling them mentally ill or crazy. They may cut themselves or engage in other self-harm behaviors. Without a method to deal with suicidal feelings, teens in crisis live with intense shame, powerless to pull themselves out of depression.
In the wake of mass murder reports, media sensationalizes news about killers who are mentally ill. These accounts inadvertently link all mental illness to violence and crime. Depressed teens and adults develop stereotypically false beliefs about mental illness from media hype. Those who need treatment to achieve mental health may believe seeking help will risk their jobs or their relationships.
Appleton’s diverse population may give advantages to some in obtaining mental health services. Others, particularly those with less economic stability, may not receive the treatment they so desperately require. Barriers to services may include:
- A low provider-patient ratio.
- Language problems for non-English speakers.
- Non-U.S. citizens who fear deportation.
- Unemployed individuals and females have more mental health problems.
- Homeless people who are unable to connect with available resources.
- Those who cannot find therapists who specialize in marriage counseling.
- Stigma of mental illness among peers or
- High rate of teen suicide when intervention is not available.
- Severe mental illness due to controlled or illegal substance abuse problems.
Mental Health Services Are Available
The Department of Health Services in Wisconsin administers the state’s mental health system. Counties are in charge of providing treatment for mental illness conditions. Most counties try to partner with community organizations or agencies to accomplish this mandate.
It is possible to manage mental illness successfully. E-Counseling’s directory can help Appleton citizens find professional mental health treatment. Appleton residents deserve the opportunity to increase their quality of life.