Bloomington, Illinois Therapists
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An Overview of Mental Health in Bloomington, Illinois
Bloomington, Illinois, not to be confused with the other 15 cities in the United States with the name Bloomington, is a large metropolitan city located in the center of Illinois. It is a part of McLean County along with its twin city Normal, Illinois, and is easily accessible since it converges with several large highways and interstates. Residents of Bloomington are also able to enjoy tours of the David Davis Mansion, the former home of Supreme Court Justice David Davis who was a close friend and mentor to Abraham Lincoln.
Bloomington’s 77,934 citizens certainly have much to benefit from with plenty of recreational activities to enjoy, a variety of employment opportunities, and a growing downtown area. Yet, they also face many challenges. For instance, the city’s poverty rate is higher than the national average with 13.3 percent of the population living below the poverty line. African Americans are much more likely to live in poverty than their white counterparts with a poverty rate of 36.07 percent. Since poverty and mental health issues are closely linked to one another, these statistics indicate that there are individuals living in Bloomington with mental illnesses who need treatment.
Mental Health Concerns in Bloomington
According to Mental Health in America, 15.73 percent of adults living in Illinois are struggling with some sort of mental illness. Compared to the rest of the nation, Illinois ranks third and has some of the lowest rates of mental health prevalence in the country. Overall, this is good news for the residents of Illinois, including those living in Bloomington. However, there are specific mental health issues that are still a major concern.
A major mental health issue in Bloomington and the rest of McLean County is the prevalence of substance abuse disorders amongst both adults and youths. 7.8 percent of adults and 5.21 percent of youths living in Illinois struggled with a substance abuse disorder in the last year. McLean County specifically is experiencing growing rates of drug overdose deaths with a 150 percent increase from 2016 to 2017. This is mostly due to the introduction of fentanyl mixed with heroin in the county. The Bloomington-Normal area has also experienced at least one death due to an even more fatal mixture containing Carfentanyl.
Mclean County has experienced rising rates of mental illness amongst incarcerated individuals since 2002. Statistics gathered by the Illinois State University’s Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development found that 25.6 percent of inmates within the county had an apparent mental health concern of some sort in 2017. From 2002 to 2017, there were an estimated 7000 mental individuals who were booked into jail at least one time. On average, each of these 7000 people was jailed four times.
In 2017, numbers indicated that approximately 250 homeless people were living in the Bloomington-Normal area. Mental illness and substance abuse issues are prevalent and ongoing amongst the homeless, which can make it increasingly difficult for people to change their situation and find the help they need. A significant issue for the homeless in Bloomington specifically is a lack of shelters in the city. There are only two emergency shelters serving the Bloomington-Normal area, and they are almost always full. This results in many people resorting to sleeping unsheltered on the streets, even when temperatures reach well below average in the winter months.
Impact of Not Receiving Treatment in Bloomington
Although there are many people in Illinois suffering from mental illnesses, less than half of these individuals receive treatment. There are several reasons those with mental health concerns don’t get the care they need, including not being able to access care. In Illinois, there are 530 mentally ill individuals in need of treatment per mental provider in the state. Also, 5.4 percent of adults under the age of 65 living in Bloomington don’t have health insurance, which can prevent them from seeking out help.