An Overview of Mental Health in Lynchburg, Virginia
The independent city of Lynchburg, Virginia is located in a larger metropolitan area that includes Charlottesville, Roanoke, and Danville. As of 2017, the population is estimated to be 80,995. It’s located near a variety of hills, including College Hill, Daniel’s Hill, Garland Hill, Diamond Hill, Federal Hill, Franklin Hill, and White Rock Hill, earning it the nickname of “The City of Seven Hills.”
It’s home to a variety of acclaimed educational institutions, including the University of Lynchburg, Liberty University, and Randolph College. Education, finance, nuclear technology, material handling, pharmaceuticals, and retail are the biggest industries in Lynchburg. It’s the central area for commerce in the region.
Despite the many optimistic aspects of Lynchburg, it has its fair share of struggles when it comes to mental health, which is exacerbated by economic hurdles, substance abuse, and relationship issues. It’s critical to understand the seriousness of mental illness in Lynchburg and its contributing factors.
The Central Virginia Health District, which includes Lynchburg, had a suicide rate of 14.2 per 100,000 residents in 2016, according to the Editorial Board of the News & Advance. This means there was a total of 37 deaths by suicide in the area in 2016. Southside and Central Virginia have some of the most alarming suicide statistics in the Commonwealth.
Virginia Mental Health Statistics
Serious mental illnesses and suicides are major issues across Virginia.
- Over 1 million Virginia adults have a mental illness, which includes the presence of any mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder.
- Approximately 300,000 Virginia adults suffer from a seirous mental illness, which is defined by a disorder causing significant impairment that interferes with major life activities.
- Suicide ranked as the 11th cause of death among Virginia residents.
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 24.
- About 242,000 Virginia adults had serious contemplations of suicide in 2013 and 2014.
These numbers from the National Alliance on Mental Ilness (NAMI) of Virginia and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) show the severity of the problem.
Substance Use and Abuse
Mental illnesses and substance use disorders often go hand-in-hand. According to NAMI of Virginia, nearly 250,000 Virginia adults have co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. SAMHSA finds that 7.1 percent of people in Virginia struggled with dependence or addiction to alcohol from 2013-2014. Approximately 6.7 percent report heavy alcohol consumption. About 2.5 percent depended or abused illegal drugs from 2013-2014.
Income and Poverty
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a vast majority of people with mental illnesses live in poverty. This puts the mental health struggles of Lynchburg into perspective. Lynchburg’s poverty rate is an alarming 18.8 percent, compared to 12.3 percent of all the United States.
Marital issues and divorce may cause or play a role in mental illness. Divorce can lead to depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. About 10 percent of Lynchburg residents are divorced. There were a total of 423 divorces in Lynchburg in 2013.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Lynchburg, Virginia
It can be difficult for Lynchburg residents to receive treatment from mental health professionals. SAMHSA finds that half of Virginia residents do not receive the mental health care they need. This is due to a variety of factors, one being lack of health insurance. About 10.8 percent of individuals in Lynchburg don’t have health insurance.
Mental Health Resources in Lynchburg, Virginia
Even though there are still obstacles when it comes to receiving mental health treatment in Lynchburg, there are some positive numbers that show a favorable outlook. For example, Virginia recently expanded its Medicaid program, which provides health insurance coverage to 400,000 low-income and uninsured Virginians. Plus, even though only half Virginians receive mental health, it is higher than the national average of 42.7 percent. Additionally, there are 367 therapists and counselors for every 100,000 people in Lynchburg.
Lynchburg Therapist Directory
One barrier to obtaining mental health treatment is the difficulty of not knowing how to find mental health professionals. That’s why E-Counseling.com has put together a directory of therapists in Lynchburg. This resource provides Lynchburg residents with an easy way to connect with therapists.