An Overview of Mental Health in Lakewood, Washington
Located in Pierce County, Lakewood, Washington has a population of 60,296, which is split exactly in half between males and females. As the name of the city suggests, Lakewood is located partly on the north shore of American Lake and includes American Lake Park for residents to enjoy swimming and boating. Residents and visitors alike can also learn about the city’s history by visiting Fort Steilacoom Park, the city’s largest park which includes large shelters, baseball and soccer fields, a dog park, a large playground, and the Discovery Trail system.
Although residents in Lakewood are able to enjoy a wide range of outdoor recreational activities which can help benefit both their physical and mental health, the community is struggling in many ways. For instance, the cost of living is much higher than the average for cities around the United States with an index of 123.3. In addition, the median household income in Lakewood is at $47,636 which is lower than the national average. With a poverty rate of 19.3 percent, Lakewood also has a higher percentage of residents living in poverty than what is seen at both a state and national level.
Apart from these financial issues, Lakewood also has extremely high crime rates. In fact, the city’s overall crime rate of 54 for every one thousand residents is one of the highest in the United States. Both violent and property crime rates are higher in Lakewood than what is experienced in the rest of Washington. The city is also known for a police shooting in 2009 which resulted in the death of four police officers in a coffee shop. The event was the most deadly attack of law enforcement in Washington and the second deadliest in the United States.
Both high levels of poverty and high crime rates can be an indicator for mental health issues within a community. Poverty can have a negative effect on one’s mental health as the stressors associated with struggling to make ends meet can result in excessive anxiety and depression. Poverty is especially harmful to the mental health of children as it affects their current quality of life and even permanently alters their brain development.
Although those with mental illnesses are often more likely to be of a target of crime than to commit one, high crime rates can cause anxiety for those living in the community. Some studies have shown that having a fear of crime is correlated with a poorer mental health. Since Lakewood struggles with poverty and crime rates more than most other cities in the United States, it is likely that there are many within the community struggling with a poor mental health.
Mental Health Statistics
Lakewood, Washington has a unique mental health situation that reveals how the community is struggling as a whole:
- Pierce County has a suicide rate of 15.07, which is higher than the suicide rate in the United States and the rest of Washington.
- In 2016, the average number of mentally unhealthy days was 3.8 for adults in Pierce County.
- Between 2002 and 2013, there was a 3 percent increase in the number of deaths attributed to opiates in the county.
- 16 percent of residents in Pierce County reported binge drinking behaviors, and a total of 45 percent of all driving deaths were linked to alcohol impairment.
- The availability of mental health providers in the county is slightly better than the rest of Washington with one provider for every 314 people.
Mental Health Resources in Lakewood
There are several resources available for individuals in Lakewood struggling with mental health concerns including the Western State Hospital which has a total of 827 beds available. In addition, the Greater Lakes Mental Health facility and Telecare Pierce County Evaluation and Treatment Center provide short-term residential treatment, and the Recovery Innovations Pierce County facility and Seeley Lake Lodge provide long-term residential treatment. For those in need of counseling and non-residential mental health services, residents can visit the Center for Independence or the Greater Lakes Mental Health Care facility.
Find a Therapist
Finding a therapist in Lakewood, Washington is an important step for those struggling with a poor mental health. Fortunately, you don’t need to start this process alone. Visit E-Counseling and access their therapist directory to easily search through the mental health providers that are available in your area today.