An Overview of Mental Health Resources in Norman, Oklahoma
The lively college town of Norman, Oklahoma is regularly booming with activity. Being home to the largest college in the state, the University of Oklahoma, the city of Norman’s population is on the rise exponentially. The area currently boasts an impressive resident count of approximately 122,000 people, according to 2017 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. More remarkably, the number of inhabitants living in Norman is growing at a faster rate than most American cities at around 11 percent every 15 years. Looking at the area, it is no wonder why so many people are flocking to move there. Amenities are abundant and accessible; often, places to grab a bite to eat or go shopping can be found around street corners ready for your business. The community is as tight-knit as a somewhat large city can get, and the school system is stellar.
The typical primary motivation behind someone’s decision to move to a new location has to do with a job opportunity. Promises of promotions or new jobs are also the most common reason for a family moving to Norman, Oklahoma. Unfortunately, not everyone searching for a job is able to find one. Making things worse, maintaining a job can also be a difficult task. Layoffs and other uncontrollable circumstances occur frequently. Norman’s economy is not in the best of shape at the moment. Good-paying employment is becoming increasingly harder to grab and hold onto for many. However, the economic troubles of the city serve to contribute to a separate, pressing, widespread issue. Experts are saying the city of Norman is going through a “mental health crisis.” Let’s go over what that means for the city, how the situation got to be so bad, and what you can do to reach out to a local therapist who can help if you are in need.
Regrettably, mental health situations are worsening across the country. A recent report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates a jaw-dropping 50 percent of all Americans are diagnosed with a mental disorder at one point or another during their life. A 2017 study commissioned by Mental Health America references the state of Oklahoma, in particular; the results do not call for celebration. The study ranks Oklahoma as being amongst the top 50 percent of states regarding the prevalence of mental illness. In this context and for future reference, the term mental illness refers to any diagnosable behavioral disorder one can experience ranging in severity. For example, general anxiety disorder or schizophrenia. So, why is mental illness becoming such an issue in Norman, Oklahoma?
Firstly, the city of Norman is hurting, economically. Statistics suggest that the poverty level in Norman is almost 20 percent higher than the national average. It is no secret that there is a statistical relationship between abject poverty and mental health. Areas with higher rates of people living below the poverty level are more likely to be areas with higher rates of mental illness, relative to the rest of the country. As per a recent report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), American adults living under the federal poverty level are more than two times as likely to suffer from a mental health condition.
Adding onto Norman’s sub-par economic performance over recent years, crime is also excessively high. Crimes relating to theft happen quite frequently relative to the rest of the state and nation. According to the most up to date statistics sourced from the FBI, the overall crime rate in the city is 23 percent higher than the national average. The relationship between crime and mental health is significant. Statistically speaking, crime tends to negatively impact the overall mental health of communities. Norman, Oklahoma is, unfortunately, not an exception.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Norman, Oklahoma
A harsh reality is that Americans are increasingly finding the process of seeking help from a therapist as troubling. As per the National Institute of Mental Health, a majority of mentally ill Americans will receive no mental health treatment during any given year. Researchers claim the nationwide shortage of mental health professionals providing treatment to patients is partly to blame. They also are pointing fingers at ineffective legislation, poverty, and stigma surrounding mental illness.
The rate of individuals without any form of health insurance in Norman, Oklahoma is almost five percent higher than the national average, as per the U.S. Census Bureau. With vast swaths of the population lacking health insurance combined with a high rate of poverty, many people in Norman simply cannot afford the out-of-pocket expense of counseling.
Mental Health Resources in Norman, Oklahoma
Thanks to attention from federal and state entities, Norman is allocating more funds to tackle the problem of mental illness. Organizations that focus on improving the community’s mental health have their doors open to those in need. The Oklahoma Mental Health Center is a popular mental health clinic inside the local hospital. Red Rock Behavioral Health Services is another renowned institution offering a bevy of mental health services for both adults and youths.
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