Find Therapists and Counselors in Decatur, Alabama
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An Overview of Mental Health in Decatur, Alabama
Decatur, Alabama is a fairly large southern city that is home to 54,264 individuals. The city is located along the Tennessee River in Morgan County and boasts a rich heritage, community spirit, and cultural diversity. Though Decatur has a few things going for it, such as its proximity to Tennessee and the Tennessee River, a small-town vibe, cultural landmarks and a wealth of outdoor activities, it is fairly isolated, making it difficult for residents to access services they might need, such as mental health treatment.
Decatur, at a Glance
The population in Decatur has been on the decline in recent years. It was down by 2.7% since the last census in 2010. Based on the median age of residents, which is 40.5, it seems as if the young are moving out while settled families are staying put. It does not appear as if the area is attracting any new residents.
This may be due to several factors. Isolation, as previously mentioned, maybe a deterrent to younger crowds and those who desire more to do than visit the Civil War museum. The low median household income and high poverty rate may also play a role in the population’s decline. The median household income in Decatur in 2018 was $45,048. The average per capita income was $26,637. Both are significantly lower than national medians and averages, but slightly higher than state averages. The poverty rate in Decatur is 19.6%, which is much higher than the national rate of 11.8%.
The median property value in Decatur is $121,000. That value is about $12,000 less than the state value, and approximately $70,000 less than the national median. Property taxes are less than $800. In short, the cost of living in Decatur is more than affordable, which is one bonus of living in the Morgan County suburb. Nearly 75% of homes in Decatur are owner-occupied.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Concerns in Alabama
Alabama’s health assessments do not deep dive into county or city levels. However, Alabama Public Health states that behavioral and substance abuse disorders is the state’s second-largest public health concern. The report indicates that the state government spends a large number of its resources on incarcerating those with substance abuse disorders. When it comes to mental health providers, on the other hand, the state experiences a severe shortage, especially in rural areas such as Decatur.
Drug-related mortality and suicide rates have been on the incline in the past decade. In 2013, suicide was the 11th leading cause of death.
Because of the shortage of mental health care providers, many Alabama residents live with undiagnosed and untreated mental illness. Thousands more are in prison due to a substance abuse disorder that is a byproduct of mental illness. Both drug abuse and mental illness take a huge toll on Decatur’s and Alabama’s economies.
Approximately 50,345 Alabama residents of known employment status live with some sort of mental illness diagnosis. Around 7,000 live with schizophrenia or a related disorder, about 30,000 live with bipolar or some sort of mood disorder and about 2,000 others live with some sort of psychosis. Of the 50,000 plus diagnosed, less than 8,000 have a job.
Mental Health Resources
Alabama Public Health recognizes that mental illness and substance abuse are serious issues within the state. However, unlike other states, it has yet to develop a plan to address treatment shortages. Until it does, residents must rely on help hotlines and government bodies to receive the emergency care and attention they need and deserve. Some resources residents can turn to when they experience a mental health crisis are as follows:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Available 24 hours every day at 1-800-273-8255
- Decatur Police Department: Department phone number, 256-341-4600; Tipline, 256-341-HELP (4636)
- Mental Health Association of Morgan County: Support, education, and advocacy; Contact through the online contact form
- Mental Health Center of North Central Alabama: 256-355-5904
Individuals who live with a mental illness require extensive and ongoing care to achieve the mental health and clarity all people deserve. If you or a loved one want to get on the road to a happier, healthier existence, search for a therapist in a discreet and convenient manner: Through an online mental health directory.