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An Overview of Mental Health in Edmond, Oklahoma
The city of Edmond, Oklahoma is a community-oriented area with fun events such as the annual Mayer’s Tree Lighting in December and the annual Day of Service in May. Community development occurs continually thanks to the widespread participation of the citizens of the area. Residents of Edmond and visitors alike enjoy the events and attractions that the city has to offer. There is always a show or concert to see. The 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse, Frontier City, and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum are just a few of the city’s unique attractions.
On the surface, it is hard to imagine that the city has any mental health concerns. According to the Census Bureau, Edmond is home to almost 92,000 people as of 2017, a 13.3% increase from just seven years before. Over 80% of the population is white, and only 8.8% of people are divorced which is almost half of the national rate. Approximately 10% of the population lives in poverty, which is less than the national poverty rate, and Edmond’s crime rate is 57% lower than that of the United States. Edmond was ranked number 36 on the list of most desirable places to live in America.
Digging deeper into the community of Edmond, however, reveals extensive mental health challenges. Oklahoma is number 2 in the nation for mental illness. Suicide and substance abuse are among the greatest concerns, and various resources in the area seek to remedy the problems.
In 2012, suicide rates began to spike in the city. The majority of deaths were males, but the majority of attempts were females. The age range with the most attempts and deaths was 41 to 62, and a percentage of children under the age of 18 also contributed to the suicide deaths in Edmond. In 2017, Edmond ranked number 7 in the state for most suicide deaths.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a person takes their life, on average, every 11 hours in Oklahoma. Mental health treatment has been proven to reduce suicidal deaths, yet the resources are only available to one in every three Oklahomans who need it. As a result, suicide rates continue to rise in the state.
In 2012, Oklahoma was ranked number one for prescription painkiller abuse. Overdoses in Oklahoma are responsible for more deaths than motor vehicle accidents. A majority of those who die from overdoses do so on widely used medications.
As a result, Oklahoma released a state plan to reduce prescription drug abuse the next year. The plan considers prevention techniques, mental health needs, and law enforcement concerning drug use.
The state saw a decrease in Oklahoma teens dying from prescription opiods; however, state officials continue to search for the right answer, as three other drugs enter the sphere of concern.
Mexican drug cartels bring in tens of thousands of pounds of meth every day. Between 2010 and 2016, meth overdose deaths increased 265% in Oklahoma. The most commonly abused drug across the Oklahoma is marijuana. It battles methamphetamines to be one of the top drugs causing people to go to rehab in the state. The opiod heroin is an epidemic in the Northeast predicted to enter Oklahoma as a major concern in 2018.
The prevalence of youth addiction reveals the great need for prevention and early intervention programs. Many mental health centers in Oklahoma have a variety of options.
- Eagle Ridge Institute: This facility has prevention programs focusing on education and healthy decision making. It also has a family treatment center and outpatient health services.
- Edmond Family Counseling: Therapists serve anyone from children to seniors who struggle with various mental illness concerns, including substance abuse and comorbid disorders.
- Gateway to Prevention and Recovery: These counselors provide behavioral health services to individuals and families. Because they believe mental illness progressively affects the entire community, therapists seek to improve all lives by treating individual illness.
Though various mental health resources exist and a number of people need treatment, several factors stand in the way of getting help, including unwillingness to seek treatment, widespread availability of drugs, and lack of access to quality care.