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An Overview of Mental Health in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
Brooklyn Park, a part of the Twin Cities metro area, is in Hennepin County. Near the bank of the Mississippi River, it is conveniently located just a few miles from downtown Minneapolis. Brooklyn Park is one of the largest cities in Minnesota.
The citizens of Brooklyn Park overwhelmingly approved a referendum to invest millions of dollars in creating, upgrading and maintaining several public amenities. Among them are resources to ensure a stable river, tree and prairie ecosystem, while upgrades to extensive parks and trail systems continue. Funding will improve community and senior activity centers, and include construction of a teen recreation center. Two Brooklyn Park ice arenas support figure skating and training, ice hockey clubs and recreational public skating.
Wealth and Poverty in Brooklyn Park
The city government is actively involved in improving the health and safety of its approximately 80,581 residents. Mental health treatment is an issue of growing concern for Brooklyn Park, as it is for most cities across America. While Brooklyn Park enjoys wide ethnic diversity in its population, inequities are apparent, particularly in wealth distribution. Unfortunately, Brooklyn Park is not unique in its affluence among Whites compared to the poverty levels of minorities. The total poverty rate is 10.68 percent.
Native Americans in Brooklyn Park experience the highest degree of hardship at 41.43 percent. The next impoverished groups are Hispanics at 25.97 percent and Blacks at 19.62 percent. Those who identify as “Other” or “Multiple races” are below the poverty line at 26.52 percent and 18.69 percent, respectively. Whites represent the least likely demographic, at 4.32 percent, to live below the poverty line.
Poverty correlates with unemployment, lack of health insurance, crime, substance abuse, and a prime contributor to homelessness and mental illness. The lack of minority access to mental health care is a heartbreaking issue city governments deal with, particularly since contributing factors are generally difficult to control or fully understand.
Brooklyn Park is more dangerous than 86 percent of U.S. Cities. A person’s chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Brooklyn Park is about 15 percent higher than in Minnesota state. Burglary and theft rates are somewhat higher in Brooklyn Park than national property crime rates.
Disadvantages in Brooklyn Park’s Mental Health Options
One of the largest for-profit healthcare organizations in the county petitioned the state to allow double bunking for its psychiatric hospital in Brooklyn Park. They desired to accommodate pediatric patients and youth aged 20 and younger who were in crisis due to a lack of open beds in the area. The business asked to convert half its 50 rooms to house two patients. The for-profit business admitted insured children over those who did not have mental health insurance — the favoritism did not sit well with the state. Nearly all other psychiatric treatment facilities were not-for-profit.
The Minnesota Department of Health prepared an analysis of the need for more pediatric beds. The state approved the modification due to the pressing need to house more young people who had nowhere else to go for emergency treatment. The analysis report found 1 psychologist to every 1,257 people in the Twin Cities, but in rural areas, only 1 psychologist was available to treat 10,662 people. The report illustrated the need to travel to care providers. Many people may not have the financial means to travel to receive services.
A breakdown of some of the overriding issues in Brooklyn Park that make it hard to obtain mental health services are:
- Severe poverty among minority groups
- Low mental health provider ratios
- Communication problems due to minority language barriers
- Minorities are less likely to seek help
- Crime draws away resources needed for mental health treatment facilities
- Homeless people have higher needs for mental health care and services
- The threat of divorce indicates a need for access to divorce counseling
- Inability to afford travel required to reach treatment providers
Mental Health Services Are Available for Brooklyn Park Residents
Hennepin County has several outlets for mental treatment needs, including those that are low cost or free to those who meet poverty requirements. Translators can overcome language issues.
Successful treatment of mental illness is possible. E-Counseling’s directory can help Brooklyn Park citizens to find the mental health services they need to enhance their quality of life and find happiness.