Guide to Mental Health Resources in Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is a busy Alabama city with a lot of history. It was formed in 1871 after three small farm towns merged together and quickly became a hub spot for multiple business industries.
Now the most populous city in the state, 2017 estimates placed Birmingham’s population at 217,158 residents. Nearly three-quarters of the residents are African American while 22% are white. Their median age is a young 34 years old.
The population is falling. Between 2000 and 2010 Birmingham’s population plunged by more than 12%.
The city is considered to be a banking capital. However, over 40% of Birmingham minors live in poverty.
Violence in the city is relatively common. It has one of the highest crimes rates in the U.S.
Birmingham Mental Health
15.8% of Birmingham’s over 25 population has a bachelor’s degree or higher. The average worker earns $27,317, which is less than the national average.
A significant amount of evidence shows that poverty is intricately related to mental health issues. Additionally, someone who doesn’t have a college degree is more likely to have employment struggles than someone who does.
The average Birmingham resident did not graduate from college. This makes it more difficult for them to find a high-paying job. If they become too stressed about money, depression or other mental health issues might be triggered.
Alabama’s depression and suicide rate are significantly higher than the national average. Many residents are low-income or reside in rural areas. They don’t have reliable access to mental health care.
Poverty, unemployment, and social isolation can lead to depression. However, the same cocktail of ingredients can also prevent someone from getting the care that they need. It’s hard to see a therapist if you can’t afford it. It can also be hard to muster up the motivation to go to the appointment.
According to data, Alabama has the least amount of mental health providers of any state in the country.
Health and Depression
Depression and obesity are intertwined. A recent study found that 36.3% of Alabama residents are obese. It’s one of the top five heaviest states.
Research has linked obesity to both depression and poverty. Birmingham residents are battling the perfect storm. There’s a high amount of poverty, obesity, and other possible stressors. There’s a risk that residents will develop depression or further health problems.
Mental Health Resources in Birmingham, Alabama
Alabama does not have an abundance of mental health providers. However, Birmingham city officials are trying to do something to make the city more livable.
In 2017, WalletHub ranked Birmingham has the 6th most stressed out city in America. Their ranking was based on factors like the divorce rate, share of single parents, number of adults diagnosed with depression, etc.
According to WalletHub, Birmingham residents have more financial stress than anyone else in the country.
The city is making an attempt to clean up its image. It’s updating buildings in its urban center and trying to revitalize its surroundings. The government is also pumping money into post-secondary education.
Birmingham is home to multiple major colleges and universities. Three of the five law schools within the state are located within the city’s confines. The area also has prominent medicine, optometry, pharmacy, nursing, engineering, and dentistry schools.
The college system is a big draw for young people and families. The athletic games receive national attention. However, it’s not enough to save the city. Students come to Birmingham to complete their education but they leave when they get their degree.
More Needs to be Done
Cleaning up the city’s main urban areas is a great start but it won’t eradicate Birmingham’s mental health problems. Residents are dealing with too many stressors. The state needs to hire more providers. People can’t be treated unless they have access to professional health care services.
In September 2018, Alabama’s prison system faced a hearing over its failure to hire an adequate number of mental health providers to treat inmates. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson said that the state’s behavior violated the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishments.
Use our Therapist Directory
Birmingham doesn’t have a surplus of therapists, but there are enough providers in the city for you to become overwhelmed if you’re seeking treatment.
Our therapist directory can help you sort providers by data that we have already collected. This helps decrease the chance that you’ll be unhappy with your treatment. The process will be easier if you feel comfortable with your therapist.