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An Overview of Mental Health in Council Bluffs, Iowa
When mental health problems develop, they can affect every facet of life. From relationships with one’s friends and family to healthy attitudes about nutrition and personal hygiene, issues like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and addictive behaviors often cause the lives of the people who struggle them to spiral out of control. This sometimes happens because the symptoms of mental health disorders are not always apparent early on; however, there are solutions for those who suffer and help may be closer than they ever thought possible.
Council Bluffs, Iowa, is one of the largest cities in the state and the seat of Pottawattamie County. 62,316 people currently live in this area, which stretches into the Omaha, Nebraska, metro area. Job opportunities in the city include those with the city’s school districts, retail and positions in the healthcare sector. However, despite these openings, there are some circumstances and factors within Council Bluffs that may be contributing to the populace’s mental health problems.
Economic Hardship in Council Bluffs
While the unemployment rate for Council Bluffs is relatively low at 2.9 percent and 1.1 percent lower than the national average, many households are not prospering and the median household income of the area is about $6,750 less than the rest of the state. This may be due to the limited employment opportunities in the area and a lack of high-paying jobs. About three percent of residents depend on public assistance, while over 30 percent rely on social security payments as a source of income.
Economic hardship and job dissatisfaction can trigger a variety of mental health problems, from depression to anxiety, especially in those who have a family history of such issues. These disorders can also lead to negative lifestyle choices which often include:
- Alcohol abuse
- Drug use
- Gambling addiction
- Compulsive overspending
- Emotional eating
As the cycle of untreated mental health issues and negative behaviors continue, economic hardships may continue or become worse as affected individuals lose their jobs due to poor performance and become overwhelmed by debt.
Demographic Imbalance in Council Bluffs
The population of Council Bluffs is largely Caucasian, and 92 percent of the residents speak English. There is also a small Asian population in the area, but it is so small that it makes up less than one percent of the city’s residents. Some people living in the area speak Spanish, but with such an imbalance of race, those of Asian, African-American or Latino descent may feel isolated or disconnected from their culture. This can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety, particularly for people who have only recently moved to the area and away from their families.
The Challenges of Finding a Therapist in Council Bluffs
People who reside in Council Bluffs and suffer from mental health issues face a number of challenges when it comes to finding the help they need. 18 percent of people in the area suffer from some form of serious mental illness; however, they either hesitate due to the stigma of behavioral health problems, cannot afford therapy or do not have services in their immediate area. This could be affecting Iowa’s rising suicide rate and startling crime statistics, which include the following offenses:
- Vehicle theft
If Council Bluffs expects to lower its crime rate, which is currently 125 percent higher than the national average, then its medical and mental health sectors may need to improve the way they offer services and treatment, as some people who commit these types of crimes may be suffering from a mental disorder.
Seniors living in the area may have particular problems finding help for their mental health issues. Not only are some suffering from limited mobility that prevent them from driving or make taking public transportation difficult, limited income from social security and gaps in Medicare coverage may make the cost of therapy out of reach. However, looking into the cost may be worth their while, as some clinics and offices charge on the basis of income to make treatment affordable for everyone in the area.
E-Counseling Can Help
If you are suffering from mental health issues that are affecting your job and relationships with family and friends and do not know where to begin, then E-Counseling may be able to help. This vast directory of therapists can help you connect with professionals who treat depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and can guide you back to improved mental health and a better quality of life.