An Overview of Mental Health in Jackson, Tennessee
Jackson is the largest city in, and county seat of, Madison County, Tennessee. The eighth-largest city in Tennessee, Jackson is a major manufacturing community with a significant history in the railroad industry. The population of Jackson has hovered at right about 67,000 for at least the last two years.
Demographic Data for Jackson, Tennessee
Female residents of Jackson outnumber male residents by a fairly significant margin: 54.9 and 45.1 percent, respectively. The two most populous ethnicities in Jackson are Caucasians at 47.8 percent and African Americans at 44.7 percent, far outstripping the next most populous demographic of Hispanics at 4.5 percent.
Availability and Effectiveness of Mental Health Services in Jackson, Tennessee
The statewide ratio of population to mental health providers was 786:1 in 2015, which is better than the national median of 1128:1. It should be noted, however, that that figure is not consistent universally throughout the state. The ratio of Tennessee population to mental health providers can range from 313:1 on the low side to 22,701:1 on the high side, which would suggest the existence of mental health provider shortage areas.
Furthermore, statistics demonstrate that a majority of people in Tennessee who need mental health services tend not to receive them: 56.8 percent of Tennessee adults aged 18 and older with any mental illness did not receive mental health treatment or counseling. The numbers are even more disquieting for Tennessee adolescents aged 12 to 17 with a major depressive episode, 66.9 percent of whom did not receive mental health services. Somewhat encouragingly, however, 71.4 percent of Tennesseans aged 17 and younger who did receive mental health services reported that their functioning had improved as a result, better than the nationwide percentage of 69.5 percent. Unfortunately, however, only about 66 percent of Tennessee adults who received treatment reported improved functioning as a result, compared with 70.9 percent for the United States as a whole.
Factors Affecting Mental Health in Jackson, Tennessee
While it is difficult to find specific data regarding mental health in Jackson, the city does face some significant challenges that are known to potentially have a negative psychological effect on those affected.
- Violent Crime: The rate of homicides in Madison County is quite high compared with the rest of the state at 11.5 per 100,000 for 2016. There is also a significant number of violent crimes committed in Madison County; at 1,017.4 per 100,000 people, it just barely missed ranking as one of the counties with the highest numbers of violent crimes in the state, the cutoff for which was 1,100 per 100,000 people.
- Poverty: A huge percentage of Jackson residents live in poverty, 23.3 percent compared to the nationwide average of 14 percent. The median household income in Jackson is only $39,747, lower than the medians for Madison County and Tennessee and significantly lower than the median for the United States. Approximately 56.1 percent of black or African American residents live in poverty, and the largest demographic of residents living in poverty are 25- to 34-year-old females.
- Divorce: Tennessee is ranked tenth in the nation for the highest number of divorces. Every year there are 16.5 marriages and 19.1 divorces per 1,000 people in Tennessee. The divorce rate for Madison County specifically was 8.8 per 1,000 people in 2017, and though that is only slightly more than half of the statewide divorce rate, it is one of the highest rates compared to other Tennessee counties. While it can be difficult to pinpoint a cause for the high divorce rate, there may be a correlation between divorce and financial stresses.
- Drug Abuse: Statistics on substance abuse in Tennessee are moderate but still troubling. In 2016, there were 24.5 deaths from drug overdose statewide per 100,000 people, 18.1 of which were due specifically to opioid overdose.
Mental Health Resources in Jackson, Tennessee
The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services provides resources statewide, while the Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations (TAMHO) provides referral services. Mental health providers in Jackson include Quinco Mental Health and Pathways Behavioral Health Services. Quinco is primarily an outpatient facility while Pathways also offers inpatient services. Both offer 24-hour crisis lines and substances abuse services.