Overview of Mental Health Resources in Elizabeth, New Jersey
Life in the booming big city of Elizabeth, New Jersey takes on a form similar to other middle-class, suburban neighborhoods. Sprinkled throughout the cityscape is fascinatingly authentic history. Monuments are plentiful, especially around public places, enshrining those who they represent for all to see. The area is also littered with historically significant buildings, many of which are available for viewing. Currently, Elizabeth is home to approximately 130,000 residents, as per a 2017 estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau. One cannot describe the town amenities as far and few between. Around just about every corner is are easily accessible shopping designations, gas stations, restaurants, and more. The primary motivation behind the average person’s decision to move to Elizabeth is tantamount to a majority of American cities: employment. Typically, when a family (or an individual) moves to a different domicile, it’s because a job opportunity sprouts up.
That being said, not everyone is able to land a decent-paying job. Those that are able to find work often settle for less than acceptable wages, often keeping them on the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder. As pretty and historic as the city of Elizabeth may be, it is not free of crucial issues. The area’s unemployment rate, for example, is staggeringly high, coming in at roughly 50 percent higher than the national average. However, the problem of unemployment is a major contributor to a more complex problem. Experts are saying Elizabeth, New Jersey is experiencing a “mental health crisis.” Let’s break down what the state of mental health looks like in Elizabeth, what’s causing it to be so poor, and how to get in contact with a qualified therapist ready to help you if you are in need.
An Overview of Mental Health in Elizabeth, New Jersey
Unfortunately, the concern of high rates of mental illness is found beyond just the city of Elizabeth. A report published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that a jaw-dropping one in five American adults suffer from a mental illness. In this context and going forward, the term mental illness can refer to any diagnosable psychiatric health condition. These disorders can range in severity; for example, anything from clinical depression to schizophrenia. The nationwide mental health crisis is affecting the state of New Jersey as a whole. As per a 2017 study, roughly 80,000 mental health visits occurred in Elizabeth’s neighboring county alone. So, why are rates of mentally ill individuals skyrocketing all over New Jersey and Elizabeth, specifically?
Firstly, the city of Elizabeth has a massive crime problem. Residents frequently describe illegal acts as being ‘rampant’ throughout the city. As per statistics sourced from the FBI, the overall crime rate in the city is a whopping 42 percent higher than the national average. The strong link between areas with high rates of mental illness and high rates of violent crime is present. Regrettably, Elizabeth is no exception.
Moreover, the job market in Elizabeth seems to be suffering from a downward spiral. The rate of chronically jobless residents is surging in the region. As mentioned before, the unemployment rate in Elizabeth is a little more than 50 percent higher than the rest of the nation. An absence of jobs tends to breed poverty amongst a city’s population. In Elizabeth, the poverty level is 26 percent higher than the national average, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. There is an undeniable statistical link between poverty and mental illness. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, American adults living under the federal poverty level are more than two times as likely to suffer from a diagnosable mental illness.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Elizabeth, New Jersey
People across the nation are finding the process of reaching out to a therapist troublesome. In fact, there is currently a nationwide shortage of mental health professionals providing care. As per the National Institute of Mental Health, only 43 percent (a minority) of mentally ill Americans received any treatment as of 2017. Additionally, some people report feelings of nervousness. Before attending your first session of therapy, it is recommended you create a list of reasonable goals you wish to attain throughout your time in counseling. Officials are blaming poorly written policy, poverty, and stigma for the abysmally low number of people receiving necessary mental health treatment.
Elizabeth, in particular, is quite bad relative to the state of New Jersey in terms of accessibility to care. The rate of persons without any form of health insurance is about three times higher than the national average, coming in at 27.2 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For many of those without insurance, the out-of-pocket expense of a psychiatrist is too much to bear. The solution of therapy is simply unaffordable.
Mental Health Resources in Elizabeth, New Jersey
Thankfully, government officials in the area have made improving Elizabeth’s mental health situation a priority. Because of additional funding and encouragement from the government, inhabitants of Elizabeth have a good number of mental health organizations to seek prospective assistance from. For example, True Care is a local mental health clinic servicing both adults and youths in the area. Trinitas is a renowned psychiatric hospital providing a bevy of services to those in need.
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