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An Overview of Mental Health in Lafayette, Indiana
As the 10th largest city in Indiana, Lafayette has a lot to offer. Purdue University, in neighboring West Lafayette, brings students from across the country to this beautiful area situated near the Wabash River, and a booming arts and culture scene gives them plenty to do. Despite all this, Lafayette, Indiana, suffers from a mental health crisis. The limited resources available throughout the area are unable to accommodate the growing need for mental health services.
Mental Health Statistics in Lafayette
Despite its size, there are very few mental health resources available for Lafayette residents. In fact, the state of Indiana is at the bottom of the list for mental health resources; out of all 50 states and DC, it comes in at a shocking 48th place. Mental illness is extremely common throughout the state, and nationally one in four people will or do suffer from a mental health complication, yet Tippecanoe County offers a mere 128 mental health care providers per 100,000 people.
Substance abuse also runs rampant. In one month, in Tippecanoe County, one-third of high school seniors admitted to drinking alcohol. Marijuana use more than doubled in only three years, and 11.2% of college students abuse prescription drugs, leading to 22 deaths in 2015 alone.
Recognizing and Treating Mental Illness
In some cases, people with mental illness may have no idea that this is the cause of their suffering. In other cases, they may be too ashamed to admit they need help. This is why it’s important to recognize the signs of mental illness in your friends and loved ones. Those who are able to get adequate help are much less likely to commit suicide or engage in self-harm.
Recognizing the Signs
Mental illness manifests in many ways, depending on a variety of factors. Some signs to look for might include the following:
- Obsessive or bizarre behavior with for no obvious reason
- Retreating or isolating themselves
- Avoidance – of people, of particular situations, or of activities they once enjoyed
- Sudden or dramatic changes in mood
- Substance abuse
- Aggression or reckless behavior
- Substantial changes in personality
- Sleeping constantly or feeling tired all the time
- Significant changes in appetite
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list, by any means. If you think that you or someone you know may be suffering from mental illness, consider seeking help. Encourage them to contact a therapist, or contact one on their behalf. Remember, however, that you can’t force a person to seek therapy.
Even if you don’t have a mental illness, consider seeing a therapist. Taking care of your mental health before it becomes problematic can often help prevent complications and reduce stress or other potential triggers. Furthermore, if symptoms do appear, a therapist can often recognize the signs and begin treatment early to curb potential issues.
If you believe a loved one is engaging in substance abuse, it can often be a delicate situation. Confronting the person may help them stop, but it can also backfire and cause them to hide their abuse more carefully. Letting them continue unimpeded, on the other hand, is never healthy.
If the person already sees a mental health professional, consider contacting them to inform them of the situation, so that they can adjust their treatment accordingly. If they do not have a therapist, however, as is the case with many substance abusers, consider contacting one before confronting them. A therapist can not only give you advice on how to handle the situation, but they can also help you cope with the discovery and its aftermath.
It may also be helpful to refer the person to an appropriate detox program. Especially in cases of addictive substances, detox programs can offer both physical and mental health services as they go through withdrawal and address the cause of their substance abuse. Although in some cases it may be possible to enroll them in a program against their will, it is often better to encourage them to enroll on their own, as they are more likely to be receptive to the program, rather than feeling betrayed by you.
E-Counseling can help you find the right therapist, no matter what your mental health needs are. Check out our directory for information on professionals in your area, or take our assessment to find more information on where to get started on your mental health journey.