An Overview of Mental Health in Kenner, Louisiana
With a population of 67,451 people, Kenner, Louisiana is the sixth largest city in the state. With the Mississippi River bordering the city on the south and Lake Pontchartrain bordering the city to the North, the residents of Kenner are able to enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities. Rivertown, or the part of the city located alongside the Mississippi, includes plenty of shopping, the Kenner Planetarium, the Rivertown Theater for the Performing Arts, and several other attractions. Residents also enjoy spending warm days at Laketown, a large recreational area surrounding Lake Pontchartrain.
Unfortunately, the people of Kenner have experienced much hardship in the past and continue to struggle in many ways. Issues like natural disasters, poverty, substance abuse, and homelessness indicate that mental health is likely a concern for many residents living in Kenner.
Mental Health Concerns in Kenner
There are several mental health issues that are unique to the community of Kenner, Louisiana.
In 2009, the community was hit by Hurricane Katrina which damaged approximately 2,800 homes in the city. The city has mostly recovered since the event as people came together to rebuild all that has been damaged, but the emotional and financial effects of the hurricane were absolutely devastating. Although Katrina was one of the most severe natural disasters the area has ever seen, Jefferson Parish of which Kenner is a part of has experienced 27 natural disasters, which is much higher than the national average of 13.
In the aftermath of a natural disaster, mental health conditions like anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression can affect individuals who are dealing with the grief of losing their home or loved ones and trying to cope with the stress they experienced during the event. Since many people in Kenner, Louisiana have lived through major natural disasters, it can be very beneficial for individuals who are struggling to speak with a therapist.
Compared to the rest of the nation, Kenner has a higher than average poverty rate at 15.62 percent. When looking at this statistic in further detail, you’ll find that minorities struggle significantly more financially than most white residents living in the city. While only 6.5 percent of white individuals in Kenner are living below the poverty line, 31.81 percent of African Americans and 17.88 percent of Hispanics are in poverty. Poverty has an extremely negative effect on one’s mental health for people of all ages and can lead to depression and anxiety.
Suicide and Overdose Deaths
A very serious and unfortunate result of untreated mental health disorders is death due to suicide or overdose. One term used to refer to both of these types of deaths simultaneously is “deaths of despair.” In Jefferson Parish, there are an estimated 43.7 deaths of despair for every 100,000 individuals. This number is significantly higher than the national average of 38.5 deaths per 100,000 people and the state average of 34.3 deaths per 100,000 people. In 2017, there were 177 drug overdose deaths and 65 suicides in the county.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Kenner
Although receiving treatment for one’s mental health issuesis an important step in the recovery process, only 41 percent of adults with a mental illness in the United States received any sort of care. There are several factors that contribute to this startling statistic:
- Stigma: Fear of how others will perceive or treat them once their mental health concern is out in the open is one reason people choose not to receive treatment. In fact, only 25 percent of adults with mental health symptoms claim that they believe people are sympathetic and caring towards people with mental illnesses.
- Lack of Available Providers: In Louisiana there are 420 individuals for every mental health provider in the state. As the number of individuals needing treatment increases, the number of available providers is continuing to decline making it difficult for people to access the care they need.
- Financial Struggle: 8 percent of people under the age of 65 in Kenner, Louisiana do not have health insurance which can make it difficult to afford treatment.
E-Counseling Solves the Challenge of Finding a Therapist in Kenner
For those struggling to find a mental health provider in their area, E-Counseling can help! Their therapist directory will make the process of finding a therapist much quicker so you can get the treatment you need right away.