An Overview of Mental Health in Eagan, Minnesota
Minnesota is a state with unique weather conditions. Eagan, Minnesota ensures fun places to play and ways to get around town any time of year. The city offers 55 parks, ballfields and tennis courts, and Cascade Bay Waterpark for fun outdoor experiences. Eagan Art House, Eagan Civic Arena, and Eagan Community Center provide indoor fun year-round in addition to various programs and camps for interested children and adults. The bus and mass transit systems get people where they need to go, while maps inform residents and visitors of construction locations and schedules, snow and ice removal, and local school times.
It is easy to be distracted from the mental health concerns in this city by the multitude of things to do in and around the area. The Minnesota Zoo is in the city of Eagan, and the Mall of America is less than 15 minutes away. Historical Fort Snelling and the Minnesota Children’s Museum are just north of this city in St. Paul, Minnesota. When hunger strikes, Eagan has an assortment of dining options, such as Mediterranean, Italian, Mexican, Indian, and American. Lastly, be sure to check out some of the city’s recurring festivals and events such as the Fourth of July Parade and the Adult Night Out events at the Minnesota Zoo.
The demographics of the city affect the mental health concerns. With a population of just over 65,000, the poverty rate is less than seven percent and the unemployment rate is only three percent. Over 75 percent of the residents are white, and almost 50 percent of the Eagan population is made up of families with kids under 18. The overall crime rate is over 15 percent lower than the Minnesota and national rates, and the violent crime rate is over 64 percent lower than that of Minnesota and the United States. On the surface, these demographics show no struggles with behavioral or mental health; however, psychologists are finding links between comfortable, privileged lives and mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
Students and adults in Dakota County, where Eagan is located, are struggling with stress, anxiety, and depression.
- 33 percent of fifth graders report worrying a lot.
- 19 percent of adults over the age of 24 say that they have been told they have anxiety.
- 25 percent of eighth graders, 40 percent of ninth graders, and 46 percent of eleventh graders report that they have struggled with feelings of hopelessness and depression in the last two weeks.
- 20 percent of adults have been told they have depression.
- 57 percent of adults take prescribed medication for depression.
Mental health concerns continue in the form of alcohol and drug use in Eagan. While only 18 percent of ninth graders reported using alcohol in the previous year, the rate jumps up to 40 percent of eleventh graders who reported doing the same. Approximately 12 percent of eleventh graders reported binge drinking in just the past month. The rate increases with age until 21- to 25-year-olds where 24 percent of college students reported binge drinking in the past two weeks.
In Dakota County, five percent of ninth graders and nine percent of twelfth graders reported using prescription drugs to get high, with the two most commonly used drug categories being prescription pain relievers and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drugs. Based on the drug arrests made in 2012, 78 percent and 19 percent were for marijuana and other drugs including methamphetamines respectively.
Violence and Abuse
Homicides, assaults, maltreatment, and partner violence represent very serious mental health concerns to Dakota County.
- 47 deaths in Dakota County were due to homicide.
- 334 aggravated assaults were reported to law enforcement.
- There were allegations of maltreatment against 1,624 children in Dakota County, with 71 percent of the accusations being neglect, 24 percent being physical abuse, and nine percent being sexual abuse.
- The rate of intimate partner violence in the last 12 months reported by female college students is 11 percent.
As one of the leading causes of death in Dakota County, suicide is a concern at the forefront of the mental health discussion. Those age 45 to 54 had the highest rate of suicide in Dakota County, and American Indians commit the highest rate of suicide throughout the state.
E-Counseling is a website that addresses mental illnesses by providing a directory of therapists and resources for the people in Dakota County.