An Overview of Mental Health in Iowa City, Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa is the proud home of the University of Iowa. This college town has a population of 72,000 and is the county seat of Johnson County. There are several mental health challenges that are facing residents Iowa City. Learn about the contributing factors to mental illness, as well as ways you can find hope and healing for you or a loved one.
Mental Illness Challenges in Iowa
Throughout the state, about 600,000 Iowans struggle with mental illness. This is approximately the same as the national statistics of one in five Americans. Throughout the country, these are some of the most common mental illnesses:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Eating disorders
- Autistic spectrum disorder
There are many signs and symptoms of a mental health disorder. If you or someone you know experiences common signs of mental illness, be sure you know a local mental health professional. Feeling sad, or in extreme cases suicidal, is one of the most common symptoms. Others include rapid mood changes, extreme worries and fear and usual changes in eating habits.
Other factors can increase your risk of experiencing a mental illness, including:
- Traumatic experiences
- Alcohol and drug use
- Chronic medical conditions, like diabetes
- Previous family history of mental illness
Not only are rates of mental illness higher among individuals experiencing one or more of these factors, but individuals who are experiencing these tend to develop mental health issues. The cyclical nature of these environmental factors could result in severe mental illness.
Each of these common risk factors are present in Iowa City, Iowa. A major issue in the city is poverty. 28 percent of residents are living in poverty, which is far higher than 14 percent, which is the national average. The two demographics that are experiencing the highest levels of poverty are 18-24-year-old females and males. This could be contributed to the high percentage of college students in the area.
The rate of homeownership is also far lower than the national average, at only 46 percent. While many residents choose to rent rather than own a home, a percentage are also facing homelessness.
Iowa has lower rates of drug and opioid deaths than many other states. In 2016, only 6 out of 100,000 individuals experienced an opioid-related death. The highest prevalence in the nation is in West Virginia, at 43 individuals per 100,000. The rate of diabetes is lower in Johnson County than many surrounding counties, at just 5 percent. However, the rate of excessive drinking among adults was higher than many other counties, over 23 percent. All of these factors can increase the risk of mental health issues in Iowa City. If you or someone you know is struggling with a chronic condition or alcohol or drug use, a local mental health expert can help.
Divorce Rates in Iowa
While Iowans enjoy higher rates of marriage, the state is also known for having lower rates of divorce than the national average. In 2016, Iowans divorced at a rate of 1.2 per 1,000. This makes Iowa the state with the least amount of divorces in the nation. This is a huge benefit to the overall mental health of the state in terms of community mental health, but on an individual level it doesn’t make a divorce any less emotionally difficult.
Divorce has a strong correlation with mental illness. For many individuals who experience a divorce, strong feelings of depression, anxiety and even thoughts of suicide are likely to occur. Individuals who are married and already experiencing these thoughts tend to have higher rates of divorce. Whether you’re going through a divorce or having mental health issues while married, make sure you find a mental health professional who can help you overcome any emotional obstacles you may be facing.
Contact a Local Mental Health Professional
There’s hope in Iowa City. Expert mental health professionals can help you by exploring your current emotional state, helping you identify any possible mental illness you may be facing and helping you find practical solutions for the environmental factors you may be facing. The E-Counseling directory can help you connect with local mental health professionals who can provide the services you need. Whether you’re a University of Iowa student or a long-time resident of Iowa City, discover how you can find hope and healing today.