Overview of Mental Health Resources in Lowell, Massachusetts
For many, the city of Lowell, Massachusetts serves as the pinnacle of New England life. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Lowell is home to approximately 111,000 people. It is not surprising to see why so many people enjoy their time there. Amenities, such as places to shop or grab a bite to eat, are abundant and easy to access. Around just about every corner is a great place to run some errands, catch some entertainment, and more. Speaking of entertainment, there is always plenty to do around town after hours. The city’s nightlife is fast-paced and fun. Plus, people who prefer walking or biking over driving to most destinations should be happy to know a good deal of Lowell neighborhoods are walkable, in addition to plentiful bike lanes and an efficient public transportation system.
While the most common motivating factor behind a family’s decision to move to Lowell is identical to every other major metropolitan area in America. Job opportunities, such as a raise in pay or a new job altogether tend to be what drives people to change domiciles. However, not everyone in Lowell is able to find a job, regardless of willingness to participate in the workforce. In fact, the unemployment rate in the city is almost 40 percent higher than the national average. Those that manage to land a job are not always able to maintain it.
The economic woes of Lowell, Massachusetts are ancillary to another complex problem. Experts are saying the city is going through a “mental health crisis.” Let’s go over, in detail, what that means, why Lowell’s mental health status-quo got to be 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 Lowell, Massachusetts
Unfortunately, the overall state of mental health in the United States is deteriorating, similar to the rest of the developed world. Chances are, you probably know someone struggling with mental health if not yourself. An especially revealing report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates one in five Americans experiences mental illness during a given year. Narrowing the scope of the statistic fails to yield more hopeful results. As per a 2017 study from Mental Health America, the state of Massachusetts ranks amongst the top 50 percent of states regarding the prevalence of mental illness amongst youths and adults. In this context and for future reference, the term mental illness refers to any psychiatric/behavioral disorder ranging in severity. For example, schizophrenia or clinical depression. So, what is causing Lowell’s situation, in particular, to be so bad?
First of all, the city of Lowell’s economy is in a distressing state. Many people in the area are living paycheck to paycheck or cannot find a decent-paying job. As mentioned previously, the city’s unemployment rate is far higher than the national average. Moreover, Lowell’s economy suffers from a major discrepancy. The average income per capita is 23 percent below the rest of the nation while the cost of living is through the roof, as per the U.S. Census Bureau.
Of course, unemployment and low-income tend to breed poverty. Unfortunately, the city of Lowell is no exception. According to Area Vibes, a Lowell resident is 42 percent more likely to be living in abject poverty relative to the average American citizen. Unfortunately, the relationship between income and mental health is not insignificant. Research indicates living in abject poverty can cause mental illness as well as amplify the experience of dealing with it. A recent report from 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 diagnosable mental disorder.
Another major contributing factor to Lowell’s mental health crisis is the state of Massachusetts’s rising divorce rate. It is no secret that divorce often has a profound influence on the mental health of all parties involved, including children. If you feel your relationship is in jeopardy, it is best to seek the assistance of a counselor before making any permanent, life-altering decisions.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Lowell, Massachusetts
A harsh reality is many Americans across the country are finding the process of seeking out a therapist as being troublesome. A revealing study from the National Institute of Mental Health estimates a majority (57 percent) of Americans who experience mental illness receive no treatment during a given year, regardless of necessity to do so. Experts are partly blaming the abysmally low number of people who receive mental health care on the nationwide shortage of mental health professionals.
In the case of Lowell, people are pointing fingers at ineffective legislation, financial problems, and stigma surrounding mental illness. 2017 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau estimate 6.2 percent of Lowell residents live without any form of health insurance. Undoubtedly, a good chunk of these people is low-income earners. For them, the out-of-pocket expense of counseling is not economically feasible.
Mental Health Resources in Lowell, Massachusetts
Thanks to attention from both state and federal figures, more organizations which focus on improving their community’s mental health are popping up all over the state. Lowell residents are particularly fortunate with the good number of places to choose from when seeking assistance. The Mental Health Association of Lowell is a local institution providing a bevy of services for those living in the area. South Bay Community Services is a mental health clinic with many of the same offerings.
E-Counseling.com’s therapist directory was created to help those in need of mental health assistance via counseling find trusted professionals in their areas. Settle for the best experience by using our directory to find a therapist fit just for you.