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Dr. Dan Boen
- Experience:40 years
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An Overview of Mental Health in Muncie, Indiana
There is an issue facing Indiana and the entire United States that, while common, has historically been misunderstood and stigmatized. The problem is very real and affects one in five adults every year, and can cause issues at home, work and school; money issues and homelessness; health problems and even death.
That problem is mental illness. Mental illness comprises of conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and schizophrenia. These illnesses may range from mild to severe, and can affect anyone of any age or background. Awareness has been increasing and stigma decreasing, but there is still a long way to go. Many parts of the country are facing severe shortages in mental health professionals and facilities with enough resources to treat affected individuals. The turbulent state of health insurance in our country is also making it difficult for many individuals to afford the care they need.
Mental Health America created a ranking system for each state, rating them based on access to care, prevalence of mental illness and other factors. Indiana ranks on the average-to-below-average side, receiving an overall rank of 42. It ranked at 41 in prevalence of mental illness, and 44 in adult mental health. Indiana ranked a bit better in access to care at 33, and at 29 in youth mental health. In other words, there is much room for improvement.
Mental Health Factors in Muncie
Just one of many affected areas in the state is Muncie. Located in Delaware County, the city’s population in 2017 was 68,625. Muncie’s largest industries are accommodation and food services; education; and waste management service. The city’s per capita income is just under $19,000, with median income at just over $32,000. The unemployment rate is 11.4 percent, and the poverty rate is 29.9 percent.
One factor that is often intertwined with mental health is poverty. Muncie’s poverty rate of just under 30 percent is quite high. For comparison, the national poverty rate is around 12 percent. When somebody has a severe mental illness, it can often impair his or her ability to work and generate an income. Financial difficulties can lead to poverty and sometimes even homelessness.
On the other hand, living in poverty is stressful in and of itself, which can also contribute to the development or worsening of mental health problems. Not only that, but forgoing treatment for these conditions can make them even worse, which is often the case with those who have a low income.
If left untreated and allowed to worsen long enough, mental illness can also lead one to commit suicide. In Delaware County, the suicide rate is approximately 13 per 100,000 people. This is on par with the national average. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America, but is even more common within certain demographics. For example, it is the second leading cause of death among individuals between 10 and 34 years old.
Mental Health Professionals
Despite a shortage of medical professionals to treat mental health patients in much of the country, Delaware County has a better provider-to-patient ratio at 421:1 in 2015, compared to the state average of 710:1. This is good news, as the lower the ratio, the better the chances are that a patient won’t have to wait as long to get care they need.
Resources in Muncie, Indiana
Mental illness can often be as debilitating as a physical illness, but many patients and doctors still address it as an afterthought. Emotional stress can take a serious toll on both the body and mind, making it an important aspect of one’s overall health and wellbeing. Seeking out treatment for a mental health problem can be difficult, but there are many great resources available for Muncie residents:
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Delaware County offers support groups, education and more resources to help with mental illness.
- The Family and Social Services Administration has a website chock-full of resources such as mental health and addiction services.
- Briarwood Clinic is located in Muncie and provides a variety of counseling and therapy services.
- Open Door Health Services also has a location in Muncie providing behavioral health care.
Another resource you may find particularly helpful is E-Counseling, an online directory of mental health professionals across the country. You can use its powerful search tool to find a provider in your area who meets your individual criteria and can help you take the first step toward recovery today.