An Overview of Mental Health in Dubuque, Iowa
Located exactly where Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin meets, Dubuque, Iowa is a key city of the Tri-State Area. It is the county seat of Dubuque County and has a population of approximately 58,276 people. The citiy’s beginnings include a heavy Catholic influence along with large populations of German and Irish immigrants. Although the city has certainly diversified over time, the several religious schools, the Little Dublin area, and the many Catholic churches and cathedrals around town reveal that these cultural and religious influences are still active in the community.
There are many unique benefits of living in the city of Dubuque. For one, business is booming in the city and in 2005 it was identified as having the fastest-growing economy in the entire Midwest United States. Although manufacturing and industry has always been essential to Dubuque, tourism, education, publishing, and health care have grown greatly in the city. The current major employers of the area include John Deere Dubuque Works, Dubuque Community School District, and MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center.
In addition, Dubuque excels when it comes to education. There are many high quality public and private schools in the city along with five higher education institutions. 91.5 percent 25 or older have graduated from high school and 30.5 percent have earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher. The average test scores for students in Dubuque are 69 percent, which is significantly higher than the national average of 49 percent.
In many ways, the residents of Dubuque are thriving as they are in a prime environment to succeed in their education and career. In addition, Dubuque is a beautiful city known for its bluffs and many outdoor trails to enjoy. However, even the most beautiful and successful cities experience their share of hardship.
The most recent statistics by NAMI reveal that 1 in 5 adults experience a mental illness within a given year and 1 in 5 adolescents have dealt with a severe mental disorder during some point in their life. In Iowa along, there are 418,000 adults with a mental illness. It is important for people to understand the importance of seeking treatment when they are struggling with poor mental health.
Impact of Not Receiving Treatment in Dubuque, Iowa
Although Iowa ranks as one of the top states when it comes to how accessible mental health care is to residents, there were still approximately 175,000 people of adults with a mental illness in the state that did not receive treatment. No insurance, insufficient finances, a stigma surrounding mental health, and a lack of mental health professionals are a few of the main barriers that get in the way of mentally ill people receiving the help they need. Unfortunately, there are some very severe consequences that can occur as a result of mental health problems going untreated:
- Suicide: Several mental illnesses including depression, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder include suicidal thoughts as a symptom. Suicide rates continue to rise across the country. The suicide rate in Dubuque County is at 12.96 suicide deaths per 100,000 people. This is slightly higher than the rate in Iowa as a whole.
- Substance Abuse: Individuals with mental health issues may turn to alcohol and drugs as a means to escape their condition or in an attempt to self-medicate themselves. In Dubuque County, 5 percent of adults participated in excessive drinking, and there was an increase in the use of marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and mixes of fentanyl and other drugs. In 2016, there was a total of 16 opioid and overdose deaths in the county.
- Homelessness: A sad reality is that seriously mentally ill people who do not receive any help from a mental health professional or loved one may become homeless. In 2017, many shelters in Dubuque claimed that they were struggling to meet the demand from how many homeless in the area were seeking a bed.
Mental Health Resources in Dubuque, Iowa
Resources are available to those with mental illnesses that can help them improve their quality of life and avoid the consequences that can result from untreated mental health issues. E-Counseling strives to make it easier for people to connect with a mental health provider in their area by providing an easy-to-use, comprehensive therapist directory. With this amazing resource to help them, individuals with mental health concerns can find help in Dubuque, Iowa right away.