Guide to Finding Mental Health Professionals in Kansas City
Kansas City is the largest city in Missouri and spreads across four counties. It also spans across two states, with the other being Kansas. The Missouri side is home to the football stadium, baseball stadium, and international airport. Visitors and residents alike can enjoy the barbecue, museums, and jazz that the city has to offer.
In 2016, the population was 481,360, which is more than the 467,700 people that resided there in 2013. It’s safe to say that Kansas City is growing and for a very good reason. It’s considered one of the fastest growing tech cities and has seen 157 percent in growth in year-over-year listings in tech jobs. In addition, the city is considered affordable, especially for people in technology.
Kansas City Demographics
Based on city-data.com, the median household income in Kansas City is $51,235. This figure is lower than the nationwide median household income, which is $59,039. Approximately 90 percent of individuals aged 25 and older have a high school diploma or better; 35 percent hold a Bachelors degree or more; and 12.5 percent have a graduate degree or better. 41.4 percent of the population is currently married, and 12.7 percent have experienced divorce. Over 38 percent of the population has never been married.
Mental Health in Kansas City, MO
With the population growing and the unemployment rate trending down, one would assume that the quality of life for people in Kansas City was considerably good. However, the number of deaths by suicide seen a 17 percent increase between 2010 and 2015. They’ve also seen an increase in self-reported poor mental health days, which demonstrates that mental health is an increasing cause of concern. In addition, the crime rate has gone up. In 2016, there were more murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults documented than previous years.
It turns out that 1 in 10 adults residing in Kansas City, MO has a serious mental illness. When these conditions are left untreated, it can lead to increased incarceration, suicide, unemployment, and chronic medical conditions. Major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorder make up 40 percent of the major cases that are left untreated.
Research shows that environmental factors such as stress from work could cause anxiety. It’s possible that the boom in tech jobs is increasing the prevalence of anxiety and/or depression in the region. While tech jobs do pay well, the job itself can be extremely fast paced and demanding. In addition to tech jobs, a lot of people work as retail salesperson and customer service representatives. On average, these jobs pay between $20,000 and $30,000/year. If you’re a single parent ,taking care of a household of four, then making ends meet could be a challenge. The poverty level for a household of four is an annual income of $24,600 and 18.3% of the people in Kansas City are in poverty. This added stress puts people at risk for mental illness.
What Is Kansas City Doing about Mental Illness?
Kansas City recognizes that mental health is a big problem in their region and realizes the impact it’s had on their community. The annual cost burden of untreated serious mental illness to Kansas City is $197 million. 87.5 percent of the money goes to indirect expenses like time lost from work and higher unemployment rates. 10.5 percent of the cost of serious mental illness is spent on direct expenses such as increased patient care, long-term care, and outpatient care. What remains is the costs associated with criminal activity, Social Security disability, and social welfare administration fees.
In 2016, they established the Kansas City Assessment and Triage Center. This mental health facility helps those with mental illness or a substance abuse disorder avoid going to jail or the emergency room. Their goal is to connect these individuals to the programs and services they need. This facility ensures that patients have been helped before being released back into the community. Prior to this, the emergency room would have 17,000 visits a year from people with substance abuse disorders and mental illness. With no real discharge treatment plan or options, these same people would end up right back again or in jail.
How to get assistance
While the assessment and triage center is a great way to assist those with mental health problems, it doesn’t target everyone. The individuals who would likely benefit from it the most are the homeless and those in poverty.
An option for others in Kansas City is our therapist directory. It allows a person to sort among providers based on data that we’ve collected, which ensures that the patient will be satisfied with the services that they’ve received.