Overview of Mental Health Resources Knoxville, Tennessee
The famous city of Knoxville is in Knox County, Tennessee. It boasts an impressive population of 187,347 residents as of 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, making it the third largest city in the state of Tennessee. Knoxville is known for its exquisite location in the Great Appalachian Valley. The town is amenity-laden with plenty of theaters, museums, restaurants, shopping centers, and more. Knoxville is not light on entertainment, even sporting its very own massive 53-acre zoo.
Located in Knoxville, Tennessee is one of the nation’s fastest-growing cable networks. Job opportunity is the number one motivation behind why people want to move to and around the city. However, the job market is not as strong as some might think in Knoxville. And, for those who get a job, maintaining it is another challenge, with layoffs happening every day. The income per capita in the city of Knoxville is 23 percent lower than the national average, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But, the large number of high-income people is likely a cause of a greater problem the city is going through. Experts say the city of Knoxville is experiencing a mental health crisis. In fact, so is the entire state of Tennessee. Let’s go over mental health care looks like in Knoxville, what’s to blame for the poor status-quo, and what you can do if you’re in need of counseling.
An Overview of Mental Health in Knoxville, Tennessee
As previously mentioned, the concern of mental health is not one relegated to Knoxville alone. Instead, the entire state is experiencing the mental health crisis. As per a 2017 study commissioned by Mental Health America, the prevalence of mental illnesses amongst Tennessee adults is higher than 47 other states (Including the District of Columbia). When grading Tennessee’s level of access to mental health care, the state was ranked 48th again, making it one of the worst states for seeking out treatment for mental illness. In this context, and for the future, mental illness refers to any disorder of the mind, ranging from anxiety and clinical depression to PTSD. But, what is causing the rate of mental illness to be so high?
Firstly, Knoxville has a major crime problem. County officials have described crime as being rampant in the streets. According to statistics from the FBI, the overall crime rate in the city of Knoxville is a whopping 127 percent higher than the national average. It is no secret that crime one of Knoxville’s most prolific problems and something needs to be done. However, crime has a strong correlation with mental illness. Areas that have a lot of crime tend to have higher rates of mental illness amongst their citizens. Unfortunately, Knoxville does not appear to be an exception.
While the cost of living in Knoxville is relatively low, especially compared to other cities of similar sizes, employment is still a problem. The number of people living below the federal poverty level is 76 percent higher than the rest of the nation, as per the U.S. Census Bureau. Poverty is a statistic of extreme concern, as it correlates heavily with other negative statistics, such as crime. There is also a link between poverty and mental illness. Growing up in an impoverished manner contributes to mental illness, statistically speaking.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Knoxville, Tennessee
Regrettably, the majority of people living in Knoxville who are in need of treatment will not receive any. According to Mental Health America, 56 percent of American adults with a mental illness will not receive any care whatsoever. The penalties of lack of treatment are significant. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, mood-affecting disorders, such as bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization for Americans between the ages of 18 and 44.
What is to blame for the abysmal lack of access to care for mental illnesses in Knoxville? Experts believe the nationwide shortage of mental health professionals, poorly crafted and executed policies, stigma, and poverty are what the causes of the access to care problem are. A 2016 report from the Health Resources and Services Administration detailed an extreme shortage of 250,000 workers in the mental health care provider industry.
Additionally, inhabitants of Knoxville are more likely to be uninsured than the average American. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 14.2 percent of those in Knoxville lack any form of health insurance. The national average is estimated to be 8.8 percent. Absence of insurance combined with a low-income makes therapy and other forms of treatment largely unaffordable.
Mental Health Resources in Knoxville, Tennessee
Knoxville does have a strong amount of organizations with a focus on mental health actively servicing the people of Knoxville. Renowned mental health institutes like the Helen Ross McNabb Center offer a bevy of community-enriching, helpful services to those in need of treatment. Scarab Behavioral Health Services is an organization dedicated to providing behavioral health services to those living in the Middle and East Tennessee areas. The services offered pertain to both children and adults.
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