An Overview of Mental Health in Gastonia, North Carolina
Charlotte’s third largest suburb, Gastonia, North Carolina, houses approximately 76,593 inhabitants. Located along the South Fork River, residents enjoy the beauty of nature via hiking, kayaking or picnicking at one of the county’s many parks. Arts and culture thrive in the area as well, with access to local museums, theaters and a planetarium. Gastonia is an ideal place to live, evidenced by community reception of the All-America City Award and the U.S. Conference of Mayors Top Livability Award.
The majority of Gastonia’s population flourish in this environment. However, those with mental health needs often require more support than typical suburban life has to offer. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that an estimated 18.3 percent of adults in the United States suffer from some form of mental illness. Unfortunately, less than half seek emotional support services.
Prevalence of Mental Illness in North Carolina
Mental Health America (MHA) is a nonprofit organization committed to the positive emotional well-being of people across the nation. According to MHA data, North Carolina’s 18.98 percent prevalence rate of adults with mental health concerns is generally commensurate with the national average. The number of teens with at least one recent major depressive episode (11.7 percent) is slightly less than the national average of 12.63 percent.
Similar to the prevalence of major depression in teens, North Carolina’s overall suicide rate of 12.97 people per 100,000 is less than the national statistic of 13.42 per 100,000. Of course, no amount of suicide is an acceptable rate. At any age, therapeutic intervention is critical for those experiencing significant feelings of helplessness or hopelessness.
Household Composition in Gastonia, North Carolina
A social support system, including family and friends, buffers the negative impact of stress on body and mind. The opposite is true as well, in that marital discord or conflict within the family unit can cause or exacerbate mental health problems. Currently in the US, approximately 6.9 per 1,000 people are married, while the divorce rate is 3.2 per 1,000. In North Carolina nearly 11 percent of people are divorced, which falls in the middle of the pack compared to other states.
In Gastonia, 46.6 percent of residents are married while 13.6 percent are divorced. This represents a rate somewhat higher than the rest of the state. Divorce impacts more than just the size of the household. Even in the most amicable of separations, there may be heightened feelings of anger and loss. Parents of the dissolved union need to come to terms with sharing time with children. Frequently, a divorce brings on financial hardships that compound the situation.
Marriage counseling helps couples regain trust and improve communication to help save relationships. When the marriage cannot be saved, individual or group therapy helps people deal with the loss and move forward.
Crime Statistics in Gastonia
Another external factor that influences mental health is feeling safe. In the hierarchy of needs, safety is a basic need second only to food, clothing and shelter. Unfortunately, being victimized threatens this sense of security. In Gastonia, there is a 1 in 18 chance of becoming a victim of either a property or violent crime. This crime rate is 93 percent higher than the state and 105 percent higher than the national average.
When a person or loved one is a victim of a violent crime, stress reactions escalate. In some cases, serious depression and anxiety occur and negatively impact all aspects of a person’s life including relationships, career and even sense of self. Counseling services help people work through this difficult time and reestablish feelings of safety and control.
Access to Care in Gastonia, North Carolina
It is unfortunate that less than half of the people with mental illness across the nation receive professional support. Similarly, 50.7 percent of North Carolina residents with emotional health needs do not access treatment. This is likely due to multiple factors such as lack of adequate insurance or unfamiliarity with how to locate support.
E-Counseling streamlines the process of finding a counselor that is right for you or your loved one. Our online therapist directory contains helpful information pertaining to high-quality, licensed therapists in Gastonia. Whether for a long-standing issue or trauma related to a recent event, therapeutic services can help you live your best life.