An Overview of Mental Health in Greeley, Colorado
With Denver to the south, mountains to the east, Cheyenne to the north and miles and miles of cows to the east, Greeley, Colorado, population 105,448, is a relatively laid-back place to live. The famous Colorado sunshine helps residents get through the cold and snowy winters, as do the 10 top ski resorts located within a three-hour drive. While Fast Food Nation and slaughterhouses in the area may have made Greeley infamous, the affordable cost of living, beautiful outdoors adventures such as Poudre River Trail, Josephine Jones State Park and Houston Gardens help make up for this reputation. The city is also home to the beautiful University of Northern Colorado and fun festivals such as the Greeley Blues Jam and Greeley Stampede.
Mental Health in Greeley
While there are multiple causes of mental illness, residents of Greeley face some unique mental health challenges.
- High Altitude: Greeley sits 4,715 feet above sea level. There has been some research showing connections between higher altitudes and worsening depression levels. Altitude may also lower the effectiveness of antidepressant medication.
- Suicide: Intermountain states such as Colorado have higher rates of suicide than the rest of the country. There could be a connection to altitude, as mentioned above. No matter the cause, the rising rate of suicides is troubling. If you need help, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Free and confidential support is available 24/7.
- Mass Shootings: Just an hour away from Greeley, two of the country’s worst mass shootings occurred: the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton and the 2012 shooting at a movie theater in Aurora. These incidents have weighed on the region’s and nation’s psyche. Recovery will take specialized and possibly long-term care.
- Substance Abuse and Addiction: Colorado overall has high incidences of alcohol abuse and illicit drug use. For those struggling with addiction, any effective recovery program will also address any associated mental health issues. Families and friends of individuals struggling with addiction may benefit from seeking mental health assistance themselves.
- Crime: Overall the crime rate in Greeley has been trending down for the past decade, but it still remains elevated compared to other cities in Colorado. Victims of violent crime will likely need to seek mental health services for post-traumatic stress (PTS).
- Poverty: The percentage of Greeley’s residents living in poverty is higher than in Colorado or the US overall. While the effects of poverty on mental health are the results of numerous underlying factors, the evidence is strong enough to suggest a strong causal relationship between the two.
Mental Health Resources in Greeley
The state of Colorado ranks relatively high nationally in terms of the availability of mental health workers, and Greeley is no different. As of 2017, there were 613 healthcare workers in mental health-related fields – predominantly licensed professional counselors, clinical social workers, registered psychotherapists and certified addiction counselors – in Weld County, or 8 per 1,000 residents.
In the Greeley area, you will have access to a broad selection of male and female counselors, social workers, therapists and life coaches. These counselors have experience with a variety of counseling methods such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based treatments. They have helped clients through many difficult times including the following illnesses and challenges.
- Trauma and abuse
- Substance abuse and addiction
- Divorce recovery
- Relationship issues
- Self esteem
- Bipolar disorder
- Career difficulties
- Anger management
- Familial conflict
The Challenge of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Greeley
While Colorado has a focus on improving mental health, some individuals may continue to face challenges accessing these important services. The 19.0% of Greeley residents are living in poverty and 9.6% uninsured in Weld County are the populations most at-risk of being untreated.
If you are unable to afford counseling, there may be alternatives available including free support from non-profits and community organizations or sliding scale payments based on need. Some newer forms of therapy such as online, phone, video or text support may be cheaper than traditional face-to-face sessions.
Find a Therapist in Greeley
The task of finding a therapist may seem daunting when you or a loved one are already overwhelmed with the difficult challenges of mental illness. At E-Counseling, you will find a comprehensive directory of licensed and experienced therapists in Greeley. Reaching out for help is hard, but it’s worth it. You are worth it.