An Overview of Mental Health in Arlington Heights, Illinois
Despite boasting a population of 75,721 people, Arlington Heights is technically a village, the most populous community in the United States to be so designated. It is a suburb of Chicago located in Cook County, Illinois. Points of interest include the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, housing one of the largest collections in the state, and the Arlington Park Race Track, which hosts a Breeders’ Cup qualifying event called the Arlington Million.
The Challenge of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Arlington Heights, Illinois
Statewide, Illinois cut mental health service funding by $113.7 million between 2009 and 2012. The results of this budget cut have been significant:
- Emergency room visits increased 19 percent between 2009 and 2012 for people in psychiatric crisis
- Six mental health clinics in Chicago closed between 2009 and 2015, along with several community mental health agencies across the state
- In 2015, the largest mental health provider, in a manner of speaking, was Cook County Jail, which housed 45,840 people with a mental illness out of a total 76,400 inmates
A number of Cook County area participants in a study conducted in 2012 expressed frustration both at the lack of availability of mental health services and the generally inadequate insurance coverage available for mental health treatment. The example one used is that insurance will pay for treatment for a physical condition like congestive heart failure indefinitely but may limit the number of visits to a mental health professional even in the case of a chronic mental condition. Another reported that it is often only in the event of a mental health crisis that one can receive treatment, and there is also a possibility that one may instead wind up in jail in that instance.
In order to address these difficulties, Illinois applied for a waiver of Medicaid rules in 2016 that would allow them to invest $2.7 billion dollars to better serve individuals covered by Medicaid who have mental illness to prioritize community-based, preventive care over institutional care. The waiver was approved in May 2018, and Illinois is now funding ten mental health pilot projects for the following purposes:
- Home health visits for children of opioid-addicted mothers
- Substance abuse recovery programs that help people manage withdrawals
- Short-term inpatient substance abuse treatment.
While the programs resulting from the Medicaid waiver are undoubtedly a step in the right direction, it remains to be seen whether Illinois can do more for people with mental health issues who do not qualify for Medicaid.
Demographic Data for Arlington Heights, Illinois
The median age of Arlington Heights residents is 43.1, somewhat higher than statewide median of 37.9 years. Approximately 50.5 percent of the population of Arlington Heights is female. The three most common ethnicities represented in Arlington Heights are white (82.2 percent), Asian (9.2 percent), and Hispanic (5.3 percent).
Factors Affecting Mental Health in Arlington Heights, Illinois
The percentage of adults self-reporting mental health as fair or poor in a 2012 Cook County survey was 9.2 percent, comparable to the national percentage. However, some groups were found to be more likely to report mental health as fair/poor than others:
- Gender: 11.5 percent of women reported fair/poor mental health, compared to 6.8 percent of men
- Race/Ethnicity: 19.2 percent of Hispanic respondents reported fair/poor mental health, compared to 8.2 percent of white respondents and 3.1 percent of respondents of other ethnicities
- Income: 23.8 percent of low-income respondents reported fair/poor mental health, compared to 7 percent of middle- and high-income respondents.
- Age: 11.9 percent of adults age 40 to 64 reported fair/poor mental health, compared to 7.9 percent of adults age 18 to 39 and 4.5 percent of people 65 or older.
It should be noted that 10.2 percent of the Hispanic population of Arlington Heights lives in poverty, and the largest demographic of people living in poverty in Arlington Heights are female. When broken down by age, the largest subsections of females living in poverty were age 75 and older (13 percent), age 65 to 74 (8.4 percent), and ages 35 to 44 (8.1 percent). Therefore, more than one factor may have been in play for some of the respondents of the above survey.
Don’t Let Challenges Stop You From Seeking the Help You Need
There is a resource available to you to help you find a suitable therapist despite the challenges involved. It’s E-Counseling.com’s therapist directory, and it was created to make it simpler for you to find and connect with a trustworthy counselor or therapist in your area.