An Overview of Mental Health in Blue Springs, Missouri
The city of Blue Springs, Missouri, is located in Jackson County and is the 11th largest in the state. The area’s population at the time of the last census was 54,945, with a slightly higher number of females than males. The city has no rural areas and the dense population, which is above average for the state, along with several other factors, may be contributing to a variety of mental illnesses in the citizens of Blue Springs. The majority of these individuals may not know where to turn for help; however, before problems such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder can be treated, understanding how certain social, economic and environmental conditions in the area may be helpful for those who suffer from them.
Possible Mental Illness Triggers in Blue Springs
The top three employers in Blue Springs are healthcare, retail and manufacturing and the median income for the area is over $10,00 higher than the rest of the country. However, despite this apparent prosperity, there are a few circumstances that may be triggering mental illness in the city:
- 3 percent of people in Blue Springs live in poverty, which is only 3.5 percent lower than the national average of 11.8 percent
- Women are much less likely to own their own home than men, which may lead to anxiety over housing issues, especially for single mothers
- Caucasians outnumber every other race in the city, which could leave Hispanics, Asians, and Blacks with feelings of isolation and a lack of community
- Blue Springs sees more rainfall than the rest of the country per year, and long winters may trigger Season Affective Disorder
- Women are the largest group that live in poverty in Blue Springs, and this may prevent them from accessing affordable mental health services
Based on these findings, women, those who live below the poverty line and who cannot afford health insurance are generally more likely to go undiagnosed or use unhealthy coping skills, such as drug or alcohol use, to mask or numb their symptoms of mental illness. Unfortunately, this behavior may only worsen symptoms, especially in the case of alcohol. Most types of alcoholic beverages are likely to worsen depression, as well as cause health issues when used long term or abused daily.
Ease of Access To Mental Health Services in Blue Springs
While the rate of adults in Missouri with some type of serious mental illness is relatively low when compared to surrounding states at slightly over four percent, not all of those afflicted may have immediate access to behavioral services. For example, elderly individuals who have mobility issues, unemployed and disabled citizens may all have trouble reaching services within the city or have trouble reaching public transportation hubs. Those who work long hours or cannot afford child care so they can schedule appointments on weekdays or after work may also ignore symptoms of depression or anxiety. Foreign-born citizens of Blue Springs who do not speak English well may hesitate to seek help due to communication issues or because of cultural beliefs and stigmas related to mental health. However, because most types of mental illness only grow worse when they are not treated, it is important that those afflicted and their families know where to turn when symptoms begin to disrupt their daily lives and relationships with others.
Finding Mental Health Resources in Blue Springs
Individuals who feel they are in immediate danger of harming themselves can dial the national emergency number of 9-1-1 for assistance. Otherwise, there are several other resources in the city that can be of help:
Some of these services may offer therapy for both individuals and families, while others focus more on treatment for individuals. It can be important to remember that mental illness affects people in different ways depending on their age, social situation and genetics. Depending on the nature of the treatment they provide, some mental health clinics may request or require a referral from a general practitioner before patients can be seen.
Mental illness in all its forms can be difficult to overcome. However, taking that first step and finding a treatment that is both effective and affordable can change your life and give you an improved outlook for the future.