An Overview of Mental Health in Greenville, North Carolina
As a gateway city to the eastern-third of North Carolina, Greenville is a fairly populated city with approximately 91,500 residents. As of right now, Greenville’s economy, which relies heavily on agriculture and trade, is in decline, which experts attribute partially to the cutbacks in the tobacco industry. However, because of the assortment of pharmaceuticals, material handling equipment and other manufacturing in the area, economists anticipate that job growth in the eastern part of NC will be among the highest in the state come the next census.
Until that happens, however, statistics remain dismal in the Greenville area. The estimated median household income in Greenville in 2016 was $36,806, nearly $15,000 lower than the state’s estimated median of $50,584. The estimate median per capita income in Greenville in 2016 was $24,887, roughly a third of the nation’s median of $60,200.
The poverty rate in Greenville is 32 percent. That is 14 percent greater than the national poverty rate. The homeownership rate is slightly higher, at 54.4 percent.
Poverty in and of itself is a leading indicator of mental health issues. The above stats, along with other indicators, suggest that mental health should be a concern for Greenville and the entire state of North Carolina. Additional data proves that it is.
The State of Mental Health in North Carolina
Mental health is a widespread issue that spans the entire U.S. North Carolina, however, is having a particularly hard time combatting mental health disorders.
- In 2014, approximately one in five adults in North Carolina had a diagnosable behavioral, mental or emotional disorder.
- One in 12 adults were dependent on alcohol or illegal drugs during that same year.
- The current suicide rate in North Carolina is 13 per 100,000 individuals, which is on par with the national suicide rate, but higher than it was when the state created mental health objectives in 2008.
- The average number of poor mental health dates among working adult residents is 3.8 per 100,000 individuals which is, again, higher than it was in 2008.
Risk Factors for Mental Illness in Greenville
What makes Greenville residents more susceptible to mental health problems than residents of other states or cities? Income aside, there are a few challenges specific to the eastern portion of North Carolina. Those include the following:
- Poor Health: In 2011, 64 percent of eastern North Carolina adults reported that they were overweight or obese, nearly 39 percent had high blood pressure, and more than 40 percent had high cholesterol. 11.7 percent of adults were living with diabetes. Poor health is an aggravating factor for stress, depression and other mental disorders.
- Sexually Transmitted Disease: From 2011 to 2013 Pitt County, was ranked as having the ninth highest rate of HIV in the state, and seventh highest rate of AIDS. Gonorrhea rates in the county were two times higher than the state’s rates. STDs can lead to depression, stress and anxiety.
- Homeownership Rates: The homeownership rate in Greenville is 54.4 percent, significantly lower than the national rate. Lack of homeownership brings with it instability and anxiety regarding the future.
- Infant Mortality: The infant mortality rates in Greenville are shockingly high, at 9.9 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to the national infant mortality rate of 5.9. Losing a baby can trigger intense grief, depression, anger and other emotional responses.
- Teen Pregnancy: The teen pregnancy rate in Pitt County in 2013 was 29.8 per 1,000 girls aged 15 to 19. The national rate is 22.3. Teen pregnancy can result in poverty, depression, lack of education and minimal job prospects.
- Culture: Approximately 50 percent of Greenville’s population is non-white. More minorities tend to go without adequate mental health care than whites.
Availability of Mental Health Resources in Greenville
Despite the prevalence of both mental health risk factors and obvious signs of mental health-related issues, and despite efforts at both the state and federal levels to correct the issue, North Carolina’s mental health crisis is only getting worse. The reason for the crisis is simple: Since 1955, North Carolina has drastically reduced and misused its mental health resources. As a result, North Carolina residents have nowhere to turn when they need help.
Use E-Counseling To Find a Qualified and Compassionate Therapist in Greenville
If Greenville residents had more access to mental health care outside of the emergency room department, fewer people would have to live with emotional, mental or behavioral disorders. E-Counseling’s directory is a go-to resource for those in need of assistance and who feel as if they have no one to whom to turn.