An Overview of Mental Health in Erie, Pennsylvania
Erie, Pennsylvania is one of the most historic cities in the United States with a wealth of tourist attractions such as the U.S. Brig Niagara and the Battles Estate. This “Gem City” was founded in 1795 and is the fourth-largest city in Pennsylvania.
A variety of shopping and entertainment options and easy access to Buffalo, New York and Cleveland, Ohio also make Erie an attractive place to live, but the “Gem City” has plenty of problems — including poverty and mental illness.
According to a report from the American Psychological Association Pennsylvania has nearly 6,000 active psychologists — one of the largest numbers in the entire United States. Also, Pennsylvania ranks ninth in the country in regards to a low prevalence of mental illness and access to mental health care, according to a 2016 Mental Health America (MHA) report.
According to SAMHSA’s Pennsylvania Mental Health Barometer for 2015, the state has mental illness prevalence rates that are nearly identical to the national average. The average for serious mental illnesses among Pennsylvania adults in 2013-2014 was 4% — just below the national average of 4.2%. The percentage of major depressive episodes among Pennsylvania children ages 12-17 in 2013-2014 was 10.7% — again just below the U.S. average of 11% for the same period.
Poverty and Mental Illness in Erie, Pennsylvania
As of July 2017, Erie has 97,369 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Erie’s poverty rate of 26.9% is more than two times the Pennsylvania average of 12.5% and the national average of 12.3%. Only Reading (at 38.8%) tops Erie’s poverty rate in Pennsylvania, according to a 2016 article in the online edition of The Erie Times-News. An estimated 50% of children under five years old in Erie live in poverty, and the issue is also significant among women and people of color.
Also, the 2016 per capita income for Erie was $19,577 — significantly lower than the state and national averages of $30,137 and $29,829 (respectively).
In addition, approximately 10.2% of Erie, Pennsylvania residents do not have health insurance. While this figure is identical to the national average of 10.2%, it is significantly higher than the state average of 6.6%.
Consequently, finances could present a substantial roadblock to people in Erie, Pennsylvania who need to see a mental health professional such as a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), poverty worsens the symptoms of serious mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
Poverty also makes it more probable that a person will experience a serious mental illness. Finally, anyone who has a mental health condition such as depression or schizophrenia is more likely to end up living in poverty after symptoms begin to appear. This applies to people of all education levels and professions.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, women of any income level are more likely to experience depression and bipolar disorder than men. Because many people living in poverty in Erie are women, this further compounds mental health issues.
Mental Health Resources for Erie, Pennsylvania
A SAMHSA online search engine lists 13 facilities in Erie that offer inpatient and outpatient mental health services for children and adults. There are 15 providers of services related to substance abuse in Erie, Pennsylvania.
There is one additional mental health treatment provider in Harborcreek (approximately six miles away), but it appears to serve only adolescents.
All other providers of mental health and substance abuse treatment services are at least a 54-mile round trip from Erie, according to SAMHSA.
Some of the inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment services available in Erie offer low-cost or free treatment to people with low income and/or no insurance. This is especially important because of the high number of people in Erie who do not have health insurance.
Challenges of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Erie, Pennsylvania
This website is dedicated to helping people in Erie, Pennsylvania and every other U.S. city find the best mental health treatment available.
While your employer or health insurer likely has a referral service, you are likely to end up frustrated after hours of completing rather personal forms. More often than not, providers recommended by your employer or health insurer have few or no appointments.
Our directory helps you find a therapist in Erie, Pennsylvania. We provide mental health resources for residents of Erie, Pennsylvania who would like to have therapy or another type of service from a mental health care professional.