An Overview of Mental Health in Dothan, Alabama
Dothan, Alabama, is located 20 miles west of Georgia and 16 miles north of Florida. With a population of 68,202, it’s known for its family-friendly atmosphere, National Peanut Festival, Dothan Area Botanical Gardens and Forever Wild Trails. In under two hours, residents can be at the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.
The city’s largest employers include two area hospitals, the public school system and the city. It is a relatively affordable place to live as compared to other parts of the US, and the city has seen nice development in recent years with more restaurants and shops opening up.
Mental Health in Dothan
Dothan can be a pleasant place to live with mild winters and access to the amenities of a bigger city while retaining the charm of a small Southern town. There are some unique circumstances in the city that may lead residents to seek mental health services.
- Crime: Dothan has a high crime rate for a city its size. The majority of the crimes are property crimes – with one of the highest rates of vehicle theft in the US – although violent crime rates are also high. These less-safe conditions can lead to fear, anxiety and other mental health challenges that deserve attention.
- Poverty: The poverty rate in Dothan is 19.7% which is higher than the state and national levels. People living in poverty aren’t likely to get the health care services they need.
- Disability: 12.0% of residents live with a disability. Managing chronic conditions can be difficult for the person who is disabled as well as their caregivers.
- Obesity: 33.3% of the population is considered to be obese. Being significantly overweight can lead to difficult physical and mental health challenges.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases: The rates of individuals living with STDs in Houston County is significantly higher than state and national levels. Coping with these illnesses may require mental health services as well as physical care.
- Substance Abuse: The opioid crisis in the US is widespread. Alabama residents have one of the highest rates of opioid prescriptions in the country. While there are legitimate medical reasons for taking these medications, they can be addictive. Anyone struggling with addiction may want to seek mental health help as well.
The Challenge of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Dothan
Per nationwide rankings, there’s a shortage of mental health professionals in Alabama. The state has a high level of individuals with mental illness and low access to insurance and treatment. Alabama has one mental health professional per 1,260 people, ranking it 48th in the country.
Within Dothan, some individuals may face financial obstacles to obtaining care. Residents who live in poverty or who do not have health insurance are at high risk of not receiving the treatment they need. In these situations, health care, especially mental health care, tends to fall low on the list of priorities.
There are some more affordable options to care than traditional face-to-face sessions with a therapist. Online, voice, video and text messaging services can be less expensive (since the therapist doesn’t have to pay for expensive office space). Some community centers or non-profit groups also provide free support groups and crisis help lines. Other community-focused organizations may offer financial assistance to those whose incomes are below a certain level.
Mental Health Resources in Dothan
Statewide rankings can often overlook the resources that are available. In Dothan, several licensed professional counselors, certified alcohol and drug counselors, psychologists and licensed independent social workers work with residents for a range of life’s challenges. These professionals have experience helping people through addictions, relationship issues, self-esteem difficulties, career challenges, stress, anxiety, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, parenting issues, grief and loss, eating disorders, anger management, bipolar, depression and more.
When a therapist first starts working with a patient, he or she will take the time to understand that patient’s background and challenges. Together they will develop a treatment plan that can draw on a variety of disciplines such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based methods and solution-focused therapy.
Find a Therapist in Dothan
For individuals looking for a therapist in the Dothan area, E-Counseling’s online directory contains a list of qualified care providers. These counselors have extensive experience providing non-judgmental, compassionate and confidential care to those seeking support with mental health challenges.