Mental Health Information and Treatment Options in Norfolk, Virginia
Located within the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, Norfolk is one of the 38 independent cities in Virginia. According to the U.S. Census Bureau population estimates for 2017, Norfolk has 244,703 residents, which makes it the second most populous city in Virginia, ranking only behind Virginia Beach. The population in the area grew by less than 1% since the 2010 census estimates.
Norfolk scores poorly in the Income & Poverty category of the Census Bureau estimates as compared to the averages for Virginia and the United States. The median household income in the city is estimated at $45,268, while the average for the U.S. is $55,322 and the average for the state is soaring at $66,149. Additionally, the percentage of the population in poverty in Norfolk is much higher at 21% than the state and national averages, 10.6% and 12.3% respectively.
The rate of residents without health insurance in the city of Norfolk is also higher (16.2%) compared to 10.2% in both Virginia and the United States. Such socioeconomic factors are usually correlated to the prevalence of mental and other illnesses in the community as they often prevent individuals from seeking the appropriate care.
The State of Mental Health in Norfolk, Virginia
According to statistics released by Talk About It Norfolk, a local mental health awareness campaign, one in four residents in the city is living with some type of mental illness, with suicide and depression becoming prevalent issues in the area in the last few years.
It is estimated that 600 Norfolk residents attempted suicide in 2015 and 24 lost their lives to it. Military veterans and teens are especially susceptible to suicidal thoughts and attempts. The campaign reports that veterans are 21% more likely to take their own lives and 15.2% of Coastal Virginia high school students have had suicidal thoughts in the past.
Another fact reported by the Talk About It Norfolk campaign is that 11.7% of the city population experiences “frequent mental distress”, which usually includes conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, stress or other emotional crisis. Depression seems to be especially wide spread amongst teenagers, with 25% reporting that their everyday life is hindered by depressive thoughts or feelings on a regular basis.
These facts illustrate why it is so important to reach out for help when you or a loved one is experiencing mental health distress of any kind. While taking the first step is never easy, many mental health conditions can be managed successfully with therapy and medication. When provided with the proper care, even individuals suffering from serious mental illnesses can enjoy a more fulfilling life.
Selecting a Mental Health Care Professional
When comparing therapists and organizations, you should consider the following factors:
- What conditions do they specialize in? Do they have experience treating patients with your condition?
- Do they provide free or discounted services for financially challenged individuals?
- What kind of reputation do they have online and in the local community of other mental health providers and patients?
Mental Health Care Resources in Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk citizens in search of mental health or substance abuse assistance can reach out to several local organizations.
- Community Services Boards provide intellectual disability, mental health and substance abuse services to the public. They offer medical and psychiatric care, case and medication management, therapy and even housing assistance. According to The Planning Council’s 2016 Investment in Priorities report, the Norfolk CSB served 2,921 people in 2015, an increase of almost 500 individuals since the previous year.
- The Up Center offers mental health counseling to patients of all ages. Some of the therapy services and support groups include family, individual and veteran counseling, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, substance abuse, anger management and domestic violence support groups.
- Tidewater Pastoral Counseling Services is a not-for-profit organization focusing on providing pastoral counseling and education to community members of all ages.
- EVMS Psychiatry – Hofheimer Hall Outpatient Clinic treats psychiatric disorders and offers a full range of services including personality assessment, psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and psychological testing.
Additional mental health care providers and therapists can be found in our carefully curated directory. Our mission is to educate persons in need of mental health care about the treatment options available in their community and to help them make the right provider choice.