An Overview of Mental Health in Hamilton, Ohio
Hamilton, Ohio provides a unique place to live, work, and play. Founded in 1791, the city has won several excellence awards in economic development and has won several awards for meeting maintenance standards for trees along streets and in parks, exhibiting commitment to innovation and environmental care. The city provides resources to help people find, apply for, and get local jobs. Lastly, the city provides a variety of entertainment for guests and visitors alike.
The mental health concerns that hide behind the scenes are often not evident in the fun activities around town. The city has something for everyone, from arts and theatre to sports to events and festivals. Spend an evening watching the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra after a relaxed day of exploring the Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum. Visit a sports complex like Joyce Park, or try your hand at golf at one of the many beautiful courses. Annual events include Operation Pumpkin, Great Miami River Days, Antique and Classic Car Parade, and numerous Art Fairs.
Once leaving the fairy-tale of fun and exploration in the city, however, Hamilton, Ohio, reveals itself as a city with many mental health risk factors and concerns. As the eleventh largest city in the state, Hamilton’s population is estimated to be over 62,000 in 2019. Major concerns include poverty, divorce, and crime. Resources exist to help those who struggle mentally, yet barriers may prevent seeking or accessing help.
The poverty rate of the city 22 percent, with a median income of just 40,000 dollars. Data shows that 100 percent of Islanders live below the poverty level, with the next races most likely to live in poverty being Black at 41 percent and Hispanic at 32 percent. Poverty is a risk factor for adverse health, including lower school achievement, worse behavioral and attention-related outcomes, and higher rates of mental health concerns. Not only that, but the populations most likely to be affected by poverty in Hamilton bring about their own difficulties and struggles with mental illness.
The largest demographic living in poverty is female age 18 to 24, with the next largest demographic in poverty being female age 25 to 34. This risk factor can combine with other stresses of living situations to multiply into numerous mental health concerns.
Over 16 percent of Hamilton’s population is divorced and not remarried. Research shows that divorce may affect not only the people who are getting the divorce, but also several of their loved ones. The loss of a significant relationship is a risk factor for mental illness. The experience might be traumatic, leaving individuals vulnerable to disorders such as depression and anxiety. Anger and aggression may also materialize as ways for the individual to handle difficult emotions.
Crime may be a result of mental health or a risk factor of developing a disorder. The overall crime in Hamilton is over 70 percent higher than both the Ohio average and the United States average. Hamilton received the following ranks for respective crime per 100,000 residents.
- Third for the highest number of rapes
- Ninth for the highest number of thefts
- 19th for the highest number of burglaries
- 22nd for the highest number of arson incidents
- 33rd for the highest crime index
Some mental and emotional concerns are risk factors for committing violence: substance use disorders, personality disorders, psychotic thoughts, social stress, personal crisis or loss, and early exposure to violence.
In other instances, violence is a risk factor for developing mental health concerns. This risk may be restated as the trauma of victimization. Immediate struggles that may follow a violent event are shock, denial, disbelief, and anger. Questions may arise, and stressful emotions might include fear, despair, self-pity, and guilt or shame. Recovery could include treatment for PTSD, with symptoms of irregular sleep, intrusive thoughts or flashbacks, anxiety, and angry outbursts.
This website offers options to the residents of Hamilton, Ohio by providing a variety of online resources, as well as a directory of trusted therapists who are eager to improve mental health.