Mental and Behavioral Health Concerns and Care Options in Elgin, Illinois
Located approximately 35 miles northwest of Chicago on the Fox River, Elgin is the eighth largest city in the state of Illinois with a population of 112,456 residents as per the U.S. Census Bureau 2017 estimates. The majority of the city is located in Kane County with a small part also lying within Cook County’s boundaries. Its population increased by 4% since the 2010 census counts. It is also worth noting that Elgin has a large Hispanic population with nearly half (45.1%) of its residents identifying as Hispanic or Latino as per the U.S. Census Bureau data. These individuals experience a unique set of difficulties when it comes to access to health care.
According to the Census Bureau, Elgin has an estimated median household income of $60,375, which is slightly higher than both the median income in the state of Illinois and the United States. The percentage of Elgin residents living in poverty (14.6%) however is higher than the state and national percentages, both of which are around 12.5%. The city also has a high percentage of residents under the age of 65 who do not have health insurance (15.6%) compared to 7.8% in the state of Illinois and 10.2% nationally.
Persons with limited income and no health insurance are a lot more susceptible to chronic and untreated mental health conditions as in most cases they cannot afford paying for health care out of pocket. While there are state and governmental organizations that provide free or sliding scale fee mental and behavioral health care services to such individuals, many of them are still unable to receive the treatment they need as they are unaware of these options, unsure where to look for help, or simply find the system too confusing to navigate.
An Overview of the Elgin Community’s Mental Health
According to CDC’s 500 Cities Project: Local Data for Better Health, 12.1% of Elgin’s adult residents reported having poor mental health for 14 or more days in the past month. Poor mental health is defined as experiencing stress, anxiety, depression or other emotional problems, however it does not include serious mental disorders as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Furthermore, the 2016-2019 Kane County Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan has identified behavioral health as one of the top health needs in this community and it specifically highlighted services for Spanish-speaking residents and affordable services as two of the top unmet mental health needs in Kane County. As a matter of fact, 84.6% of the Assessment participants pointed out mental health as a major problem and 15.4% identified it as a moderate problem.
The Assessment further reports that 12% of Kane County residents have been diagnosed with depression, with the condition being more prevalent among women, low income residents and those between the ages of 40 and 64. Mental disorders were also the highest cause for hospitalizations in Kane County with 75.45 cases per 10,000 residents, surpassing such conditions as heart disease, injuries, the flu, diabetes, and asthma.
Mental Health Care Organizations and Facilities in Elgin, Illinois
The Elgin Police Department and Kane County Guide both provide extensive lists of mental health community resources offering such services as substance abuse treatment, individual and family counseling, psychiatric services, job seeking support, and 24-hour suicide prevention hotline access. Some of the more notable organizations include Renz Addiction Counseling Center, Ecker Center for Mental Health, Family Service Association of Greater Elgin, Community Crisis Center, Open Door Health Center, and the Latino Treatment Center.
While finding mental health help is not an easy task, it is important to take the time to research and get to know the provider you are thinking about working with. Some of the questions you need to consider include:
- What conditions does the provider specialize in?
- What is their reputation in the community?
- What do past patients say about them?
- Do they accept your insurance or offer sliding scale fee services?
- Do they accept new patients and have available appointments?
If you prefer to work with a private mental health service provider, you can start your search in our professional directory, where you can find detailed information on the top counselors and therapists serving the Elgin community.