An Overview of Mental Health in Duluth, Minnesota
The 86,265 residents of Duluth, Minnesota are graced with the serenity of Lake Superior, seemingly endless miles of trails for walking, biking and hiking and rugged beauty of Jay Cooke State Park. Sure, the winters are very, very cold, but with the proper gear they can enjoy cross-country skiing, dog sledding and other outdoor winter fun. Many people move here to enjoy more relaxed crowds and a slower pace of life or to attend one of the city’s colleges and universities.
Despite the surrounding natural beauty of the city, Duluth faces some challenges when it comes to the mental health of its residents.
- Poverty: 0% of Duluth’s residents live in poverty, a level that is far above the county, state and national rates. While the effects of poverty are complex, research points to a causal relationship between poverty and mental health difficulties.
- Extreme Weather Conditions: Although long-time residents may say they’re used to the winter weather, heavy lake-effect snowfall, extreme cold and long nights may impact some residents’ mental health.
- Suicide: The suicide rate in St. Louis County has been rising and is nearly double the Healthy People 2020 national health target. There is always help. Please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always available at 1-800-273-8255 if you need it.
- Disability: 9% of Duluth’s residents under age 65 are living with a disability. Those with disabilities and their families and caretakers may require mental health services along with additional treatments and interventions.
- Substance Abuse and Addiction: Louis County has the highest rate of opioid deaths in Minnesota. Counseling may help addicts and their friends and family process the devastating effects of the illness of addiction.
- Obesity: Nearly 60% of adults in Duluth are considered obese. Obesity affects quality of life and makes people more vulnerable to both mental and physical health challenges.
Mental Health Resources in Duluth
Minnesota is ranked as one of the best states in the U.S. for providing access to mental health services. With any nation or state-wide report, it’s important to remember that general statistics may mask underlying disparities.
Residents in Duluth have a variety of counselors to choose from. The care providers are qualified as licensed professional clinical counselors, licensed alcohol and drug counselors, licensed independent social workers and licensed marriage and family therapists. They have experience working in homes, clinics, schools, private practice and inpatient psychiatric hospitals.
These counselors can help you through grief, anxiety, anger, fear, fatigue, addictions, depression, relationship issues, trauma and abuse, family conflicts, post-traumatic stress, parenting issues and compassion fatigue. They use a range of methods including Guided imagery, Thought Field Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), NeuroModulation Technique and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Each of the counselors aim to create a safe and non-judgmental space for you to share, grow and recover. They will work with you to set individual goals and develop a care plan that fits your needs.
The Challenge of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Duluth
Although Minnesota is known for having relatively strong access to health care, many Minnesotans may not get the treatment they deserve. Recent statistics indicated that 44.3% of adults with mental illness in the state did not receive treatment. A few of the barriers to care include stigma, lack of health insurance and poverty.
In Duluth, there’s a new initiative called the “Make It OK” campaign to try and spread the word that mental health is just as important as physical health. The group running the group is going door to door trying to educate others and open a dialogue about mental health.
It’s important to ease the stigma around mental illness, but more needs to be done to allow the 5.8% without health insurance or 21.0% living in poverty access to these important services. Community health needs assessments have identified the need for increased mental health services as a critical problem for many local communities.
Find a Therapist in Duluth
It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health. To make the process of finding a care provider in the Duluth area a little easier, we designed an online therapist directory. The counselors in these listings are qualified and can be trusted to provide exceptional care.