Overview of Mental Health Resources Fort Collins, Colorado
Just north of the massive Denver airport is the bustling city of Fort Collins, Colorado. Positioned at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins is best known for being homes to a wide array of entertainment and adventure. While there is plenty to do for family fun, such as enjoyable outdoor activities, it is hard to compete with the lively nightlife the city has to offer. As per a 2017 report from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are roughly 165,080 people living within the city limits. The population of the area is skyrocketing, currently, increasing by almost 15 percent every ten years.
People’s primary motivating factor behind moving to Fort Collins is the same for just about any other American city: job opportunities. While it’s true that many are living comfortably in Fort Collins, there are also vast swaths of people struggling to make ends meet. The city’s job market and economy aren’t in an exceedingly healthy state, at the moment. Poverty and unemployment still drive much concern. However, those economic problems are only ancillary to another more complex issue facing Fort Collins. Experts describe the region as going through a “mental health crisis.” Let’s take a good look at a general overview of what the state of mental health is like in Fort Collins, how it got to such a poor level, and what you can do to get in contact with a therapist who can help, if you are in need.
Mental Health in Fort Collins, Colorado
Unfortunately, Fort Collins is experiencing a higher prevalence of mental illness amongst its citizenry compared to the rest of the nation. However, that problem is not specific to that city alone. In fact, the issue of high rates of mental illness is now a state-wide problem. According to a 2017 study commissioned by Mental Health America, Colorado ranks in the top 50 percent of states regarding the commonness of mental illness and lack of access to care. In this context and for future reference, the term mental illness can refer to any psychiatric/behavioral disorder ranging in severity. Examples being anything from clinical depression to schizophrenia. So, what exactly is contributing to the widespread mental health crisis?
First of all, as mentioned previously, the economic health of the area is not exceptional. Poverty is still quite pervasive despite the unemployment rate being only slightly higher than the national average. The number of people living below the federal poverty limit in Fort Collins is a significant 18 percent higher than the national average, as per the U.S. Census Bureau. Abject poverty and higher rates of mental illness being linked is part of an unfortunate reality. According to a study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, American adults living below the poverty level are more than two times as likely to suffer from a mental health condition than those not living in poverty.
In addition to the already low-income people tend to receive in the area, Fort Collins has an abhorrently high cost of living index. According to Area Vibes, the cost of housing alone in the city is almost 50 percent higher than the rest of the country. The state income tax is a whopping 108 percent higher than the national average. However, the average income per capita is on par with the average American, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That discrepancy breeds poverty and continues the problem of high rates of mental illness.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Fort Collins, Colorado
The truth is, people all over the nation are finding reaching out to a therapist as being troublesome. A major reason is that there is currently a nationwide shortage of mental health care professionals actively providing treatment to those who need it. Additionally, poorly crafted public policies, poverty, and stigma are all negatively affecting people’s access to mental health care in Fort Collins. As per a report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five Americans have a mental health condition of some form, but a majority will not receive any treatment.
Thankfully, the rate of people who lack insurance in Fort Collins is similar to the low national average. However, the issue of poor economic situations is still at play. Those who lack insurance in the area likely lack the funds to cover the out-of-pocket expense of counseling sessions.
Mental Health Resources in Fort Collins, Colorado
Fortunately, residents of Fort Collins have a good number of respected mental health institutions to contact, if they are in need of assistance. The Mountain Crest Behavioral Health Center, for example, is a local mental health clinic offering a variety of services to those in the area. Moreover, SummitStone Health Partners is another organization servicing the community’s mental health needs.
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