An Overview of Mental Health Resources in Lansing, Michigan
The famous city of Lansing, Michigan serves as the state’s capital. It is best known for being home to Michigan State University as well as some renowned museums, such as the Museum of Natural History. Lansing is home to roughly 117,000 people according to 2017 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. A characteristic some people of the city is the population is growing slowly relative to neighboring areas. They feel as though it balances Lansing between suburban and city life, making it a prime example of Midwest living. Lansing reminds people of larger cities because of how abundant amenities, such as grocery stores and coffee shops, are. Also, if you are regularly in the mood to pick up your helmet and bike to your destination, you will be pleased to hear bike lanes are plentiful and neighborhoods are walkable.
Typically, the reason a family decides to move from one place to another has to do with a job opportunity. Raises in pay or new jobs altogether are the primary motivating factors. Lansing, Michigan is no different in that regard. However, employment is especially hard to come by; decent paying employment even harder. Moreover, those that are able to land a job are not always able to maintain it, as layoffs and other events are regular occurrences. Area Vibes states the city’s unemployment rate is 66 percent higher than the national average. The economic problems of Lansing are ancillary to another complex, long-lasting issue the city is facing. Experts are saying Lansing, in addition to the rest of the country, is going through a “mental health crisis.” Let’s go over, in detail, what that means, how the state of Lansing’s mental health got so poor, and what you can do to get in contact with a licensed therapist who can help if you are in need.
An Overview of Mental Health in Lansing, Michigan
Unfortunately, the problem of skyrocketing rates of mental illness is not relegated to one city alone. An especially alarming study recently published by Johns Hopkins Medicine claims 26 percent of American adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. When narrowing the view to a state level, the results do not improve. A recent study commissioned by Mental Health America ranks the state of Michigan amongst the top 50 percent of states regarding the prevalence of mental illness in addition to the lack of access to mental health care. In this context and for future reference, the term mental illness refers to any diagnosable psychiatric disorder ranging in severity. For example, generalized anxiety disorder or clinical depression. So, why is mental health such a problem in Lansing, specifically?
Firstly, as touched on before, Lansing’s economy is not prosperous. In fact, the average income per capita is roughly 32 percent lower than the national average, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Employment that pays a livable wage is becoming increasingly scarcer as time goes on. A resident of Lansing is 66 percent more likely to be jobless than the typical American. Of course, unemployment tends to breed poverty. Lansing is no exception in that regard. The poverty level in the city is a whopping 95 percent higher than the national average. Unfortunately, there is a significant relationship between poverty and mental health. Research tells us poverty both breeds and amplifies the experience of mental illness. A study published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration suggests American adults living below the federal poverty level are more than two times as likely to suffer from a mental illness.
Moreover, it is no secret that education plays a crucial role in one’s life with respect to mental health. As per statistics from local school districts, the city of Lansing suffers from a sub-par school system. The average test score of a Lansing student is almost 20 percent lower than the national average of 49 percent. Undoubtedly, the poor education many children are receiving in Lansing is negatively affecting the community’s mental health.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Lansing, Michigan
Many people are surprised to find out plenty of Americans are finding it troublesome to seek out a suitable therapist. An alarming study from the National Institute of Mental Health suggests a majority (57 percent) of Americans who live with a mental health condition receive no form of treatment during any given year, regardless of the necessity to do so. Experts are blaming the nationwide shortage of mental health professionals who provide care to patients.
In the case of Lansing, in particular, officials are pointing fingers at poorly crafted policy, poverty, and stigma surrounding mental illness as being barriers to mental health care. The rate of individuals who lack any form of health insurance in Lansing is significantly higher than the national average, coming in at almost 12 percent, as per the U.S. Census Bureau. A good chunk of the people who lack health insurance is also low-income earners. This means that for many, the out-of-pocket expense of counseling simply is not an option.
Mental Health Resources in Lansing, Michigan
Fortunately, state and federal entities are starting to pay attention to the mental health crisis and are directing more funds geared towards tackling it. More organizations who focus on offering mental health care are opening frequently. Lansing residents have quite a few options available to them, including Lansing Psychological Associates who provide a bevy of services to those in need. A New Hope Mental Health Center does many of the same things and service both youths and adults in the community.
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