Mental Health Concerns and Treatment Options in Jacksonville, Florida
Located in northeast Florida, Jacksonville is the largest city by territory in the continental United States covering over 870 square miles. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates its population at a little over 890,000 people. Just like other large metros in the country, Jacksonville residents’ mental health is impacted by several socioeconomic factors such as education level, employment opportunities, insurance coverage and availability of treatment services. The Census Bureau reports that in Jacksonville 17% of the population lives in poverty, compared to a 14.7% average for the state, and almost 16% has no health insurance, which is very close to the average rate for Florida. These factors are largely the reason why many residents do not seek counseling and treatment for their mental health issues.
An Overview of Mental Health in Jacksonville, Florida
According to a report published by the Florida Behavioral Health Association, 1 in 6 adults in the U.S. experiences some type of mental illness within a year. Over 62% of Florida adults with mental issues however did not receive treatment, compared to a national average of 56%.
According to the 2017-19 Community Health Improvemnet Plan (whose county seat is Jacksonville), behavioral health is one of the top 3 strategic health priority areas focusing on reducing suicide deaths and opioid induced deaths. This is not surprising in light of the fact that in 62 out of 67 counties in Florida, suicides counts are higher than homicides as reported by the Florida Behavioral Health Association.
The plan reports that on average, adult residents of Duval County have 4.1 poor mental health days during the preceding 30-day period compared to the slightly lower 3.6 days average for the state of Florida.
The suicide death rate in Duval County is 13.1 cases per 100,000 population – slightly lower than the average of 14.1 cases per 100,000 for the state of Florida. An alarming number however, is the percentage of attempted suicides in high school – 18.9% in Duval County is nearly two and a half times higher than the average for Florida (7.6%).
These startling statistics only emphasize the importance of seeking help for yourself or a loved one suffering from depression, substance abuse or other mental disorder.
Mental Health Resources in Jacksonville, Florida
Mental health disorders is a disability. They affect residents’ ability to participate in school and work, to have meaningful relationships and contribute to the community. Society’s understanding of the impact of mental health issues has increased dramatically in the last years, and as a result, more counseling and treatment options have been made available to the population.
There are four mental health agencies funded by the Social Services division of the City of Jacksonville – Mental Health Resource Center (MHRC), Mental Health Center of Jacksonville (MHCJ), Northwest Behavioral Health Services and River Region Human Services. These agencies provide comprehensive mental health services including evaluations, stabilization, case management, counseling and rehabilitation.
Jacksonville also has several MDs, PsyDs, and LMHCs (Licensed Mental Health Counselors) that provide mental health services.
How to Choose the Right Therapist in Jacksonville, Florida
Selecting a health care provider when you are not feeling well is not an easy task. This is especially true when you are looking for a mental health professional. Consider the following questions when evaluating and comparing providers:
- Do they specialize or have provided treatment for your condition in the past?
- Do they have positive reviews online from past patients?
- Do they accept your insurance?
- Do they provide free services for uninsured and underprivileged individuals?
- Do they have a convenient location and office hours?
Finally, you need to ensure that you feel comfortable discussing personal matters with the provider. Building rapport and a long-term doctor-patient relationship with your therapist is very important for the positive outcome of mental health therapy.
Our directory of mental health providers in Jacksonville, Florida features several reputable psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors, as well as other organizations that can help you with mental health care for yourself or a loved one. Our goal is to assist you with finding the right professional.