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Dr. Margaret Robertson
- Experience:13 years
- Experience:25 years
- Experience:20 years
- Experience:10 years
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An Overview of Mental Health in Bellingham, Washington
The vibrant Bellingham community of 84,000 residents is home to excellent universities, pristine coastal homes and parks with views of Bellingham Bay and enjoys slightly higher employment rates than comparative cities. However, there remain a few significant challenges that can affect the mental health of residents in Bellingham and the rest of Whatcom County. If you or a loved one is experiencing mental health challenges, learn the factors that can contribute to mental illness and how you can connect with the variety of resources available in Bellingham.
Mental Illness Challenges in Whatcom County, Washington
Throughout the United States, one in five adults experience a mental health issue. There are many common mental challenges in the United States, but some of the common challenges include:
- Anxiety: Approximately 18 percent of adults in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder. These disorders can affect every area of your life and make it difficult to live, work and connect with friends and family.
- Depression: Major depression affects almost 7 percent of adults nationwide. It’s also the number one cause of worldwide disability.
- Bipolar Disorder: Although less common, bipolar still affects more than 2 percent of adults. This disorder can often be mistaken for depression, and can appear with many different symptoms.
- Schizophrenia: While this mental illness only affects one percent of the population, that still means that 2.4 million Americans are living with schizophrenia.
In Whatcom County, these mental illnesses can be further complicated with a range of other challenges. 26 percent of Whatcom County residents report having limited activity due to mental or physical health, which is 2 percent more than the rest of Washington. 9 percent also reported having poor mental health for more than 14 days in the past 30 days.
Mental health can be affected by a range of factors. For example, there are clear links between excessive alcohol use and depression. Both of these issues together can also increase your risk of suicidal thoughts, eating disorders and substance abuse. Whatcom County had a prevalence of excessive drinking that included 19.7 percent of the adult population. This could also be linked with the opioid overdose rate throughout the state of Washington, which is 9.4 percent. Excessive use of both drugs and alcohol are not only signs that a person may be experiencing major depression, but they could also be linked with serious thoughts of self harm and other dangers.
The percentage of Bellingham residents that own a house is only 45 percent. This is far below the national average, which is over 63 percent. Combined with the slightly lower than average average income, this puts many residents as risk of becoming homeless. Not only is mental health and homelessness linked, but even having a lower income can increase your risk of having a mood disorder or other mental illness.
Divorce Statistics in Washington
Divorce can affect every aspect of your life. Whether it is unexpected or mutually recognized for years, separating from a spouse can have a major impact on your health, quality of life and environment. Even children, parents and friends of a couple going through a divorce are typically shaken by the event. If you or a loved one are going through a divorce, consider seeking marriage counseling and personal counseling to help you deal with the strong emotions and unexpected feelings that often go hand-in-hand with a divorce.
In 2016, there were 532 divorces in the county and 24,499 throughout the state. The number of divorces typically decreases when couples have more children, so the majority of divorces occur in marriages that don’t include children.
Mental Health Resources in Bellingham, Washington
While understanding the mental health issues throughout the city, county and state are important to understanding those around you, these statistics won’t help you find the path to healing. If you’re looking for a way to discuss your emotional state or live the life you had before your mental illness challenge, learn how a mental health professional can help you today.
Whether you’re looking for yourself, a friend or a family member, search through the E-Counseling directory today to find highly trained professionals in Bellingham and throughout Whatcom County. From marriage counseling to individual therapy and rehabilitation, discover how you can find hope through this helpful resource.