An Overview of Mental Health in Bellevue, Nebraska
Bellevue, Nebraska, was incorporated in 1855 after European Americans originally settled it in the 1830s. This makes it the second-oldest settlement in Nebraska and the oldest continuous town. Located in Sarpy County near the Iowa border, Bellevue is part of the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area.
In 2018, the estimated population of Bellevue was 53,627. Nearly half of the population is connected to Offutt Air Force Base. The base is home to the largest wing in the Air Combat Command, the 55th Wing.
Demographics in Bellevue
There is an almost even number of males and females living in Bellevue, with the former exceeding the latter by only 0.5%. The median resident age in Bellevue is slightly lower than the state at 34.6 years. Ethnically, the most populous demographic in Bellevue is Caucasians at 71%. Latinos represent the next most populous ethnic demographic at 15.8%, while 6.4% of the population identifies as African American and 4.3% identify as two or more races.
The median household income for Bellevue exceeds those for both the United States and Nebraska at $62,003 per year. However, nearly 10% of the population of Bellevue lives in poverty.
Mental Health Status in Bellevue
According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, serious mental illness affected 4.14% of people aged 18 or more in the Bellevue region in the early 2010s. When it comes to any mental illness, the number of adults affected increased to 15.98%. A survey conducted in 2018 and published in March 2019 showed that mental health is of concern to approximately one out of 10 Nebraskans.
Factors Affecting Mental Health in Bellevue
Though Bellevue is generally considered a highly livable community, there are factors present that have the potential to affect mental health in a negative way.
A 2015 community health survey spanning the Omaha metro area, including Bellevue, found that people with low or very low income are more likely to report fair to poor mental health than mid-income to high-income people. When it came to symptoms of chronic depression, 41.3% of people with low income and 43.2% of people with very low income reported experiencing them.
The same survey demonstrated a disparate impact of chronic depression by race and/or ethnicity. Despite representing only 6.4% of the total population, 30.9% of African Americans reported symptoms of chronic depression, while 29.9% of Latinos report chronic depression symptoms. By contrast, only 22.7% of Caucasians report chronic depression symptoms. Similarly, 15.1% of African Americans experienced fair or poor mental health.
Women tend to be more likely than men to report mental health issues. Approximately 28% of women reported experiencing symptoms of chronic depression compared to 19.6% of men. Additionally, 13% of women report fair or poor mental health compared to 7.5% of men. However, it is not clear from these data whether women experience more mental health problems than men or are just more likely than men to report them.
There are 8,855 active military members on Offutt Air Force Base. Between 2014 and 2018, there were 7,166 veterans living in Bellevue. Most of those veterans served in the 2001 Gulf War, although Vietnam veterans are also prevalent. The incidence rate of posttraumatic stress disorder among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan was seven times higher in 2008 than it was in 2002.
Challenges of Finding a Mental Health Provider in Bellevue
At the state level, there are 421 patients for every one mental health provider. Compared to nearby states, only Wyoming and Colorado have smaller patient-provider ratios. However, only about 46% of adults with mental illness in Nebraska receive services.
Public health representatives and social service providers cite social stigma as a barrier to receiving mental health services, describing patients as “too proud” to seek services. Reported barriers to receiving medical care in general, though not specifically mental health services, in the Omaha metro area include the following:
- Difficulty finding a doctor
- Inconvenient office hours
- Difficulty getting to an appointment
- Costs associated with doctor’s visits and prescription medications
Approximately 11% of people under age 65 in Bellevue do not have health insurance, and approximately 12% of Nebraskans had not seen a doctor in the preceding 12 months in 2016 due to cost.
Mental Health Resources in Bellevue
The following resources are available to people experiencing mental health difficulties in Bellevue:
In the event of a mental health emergency, you can also call 911. Help is available for veterans and other vulnerable populations in Bellevue.