Overview of Mental Health Resources in Independence, Missouri
For many, life in Independence, Missouri is the apex of midwestern life. The cost to live in the is significantly cheaper than much of the rest of the nation, especially other cities. Many people suggest moving to Independence because it is the perfect balance between city and country living. All of the same amenities found in other, sometimes larger cities, are easy to access. Practically around almost every corner you can find a place to do some shopping, catch some entertainment, or grab a bite to eat.
Furthermore, if you are a fan of saving on gas and walking to locations instead of driving, Independence has you covered. There are plenty of walkable neighborhoods as well as a decently efficient public transportation system. Notably, almost 120,000 people are residents of Independence, as per the most recent 2017 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.
For most, the primary motivation behind a decision to move to a new city has to do with a job opportunity. Raises in pay or the promise of a new job altogether are typically why people move. Independence, Missouri is no exception. However, not everybody willing to participate in the workforce is able to do so. Over the last decade, the job market has been deteriorating. Now, the unemployment rate of the area surpasses the national average. People all over the city are finding it hard to make ends meet. Independence’s economic problems are contributing to a separate complex issue the city is facing. Experts are saying Independence, along with the rest of the country, is going through a “mental health crisis.” Let’s break down what that means, what is causing the situation in Independence to be so poor, and what you can do to get in contact with a therapist who can help if you are in need.
An Overview of Mental Health in Independence, Missouri
The unfortunate reality is the mental health of America as a whole is deteriorating– skyrocketing rates of mental illness is not specific to just one city. A revealing study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates as many as 50 percent of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point during their life. Narrowing the microscope to focus on the state of Missouri is not much better. As per a 2017 study commissioned by Mental Health America, the state of Missouri ranks amongst the top 55 percent of states regarding the prevalence of mental illness amongst adult and youth citizens. In this context and for future reference, the term mental illness refers to any behavioral condition one can be diagnosed with ranging in severity. For example, generalized anxiety disorder or clinical depression. So, why is the mental health of the community in Independence worsening?
Firstly, Independence has a significant crime problem. Specifically, crimes that are violent are especially frequent relative to the rest of the United States. According to statistics sourced from the FBI, the overall crime rate in the city of Independence is 110 percent higher than the national average. Thankfully, officials are recognizing the need to combat the staggeringly high crime rate in the area and are attempting to do so. The link relationship between crime and mental health is significant. It is no secret that areas with higher rates of crime also have higher rates of mental illness. That being said, results are not going to come to fruition overnight. In the meantime, it is no doubt the rampant nature of crime in Independence is negatively impacting the mental health of its citizenry.
Independence, Missouri also does not have the strongest economy. Not only is the average income per capita significantly lower than the rest of the country, but the poverty level in the area is also almost 20 percent higher than the national average. Unfortunately, there is a strong link between poverty and mental illness. As per a recent report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), American adults living below the poverty level put forth by the federal government are more than two times as likely to be dealing with a diagnosable mental health condition.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Independence, Missouri
Contrary to popular belief, far too many Americans are finding the process of reaching out to a counselor for help as being troublesome. Some people report feeling overwhelmed. It is best to create a list of reasonable goals you wish to achieve throughout your time in therapy before attending. Alarming statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health suggest that a clear majority of mentally ill American citizens do not receive any form of treatment during any given year. Experts are partly blaming the nationwide shortage of mental health care professionals providing care as being a reason behind why so many people do not get the help they need.
In the case of Independence, poorly crafted public policy, poverty, and stigma surrounding mental illness are what researchers suggest focusing on improving. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, inhabitants of Independence are two times as likely to lack any form of health insurance. Vast swaths of these people are also low-income earners. For them, the out-of-pocket expense of counseling is not economically feasible, ruling out any prospects of mental health care.
Mental Health Resources in Independence, Missouri
Fortunately, thanks to attention from state and federal entities, the government is allocating more funds towards the fight against mental illness, allowing for the opening of more clinics servicing the community. For example, the Spring House is a local mental health clinic offering a bevy of resources to those in need. Great Circle is a similar institution in the Independence area.
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