An Overview of Mental Health Resources in Odessa, Texas
For many, the lively city of Odessa, Texas is the pinnacle of southern living. The people are genuine and kind, while the amenities are abundant and easy to access. Around just about every street corner is a good place to get some shopping done, grab a bite to eat, and more. People regularly gather for good times at local bars and eateries for social gatherings and sports viewings. Also, if you are the type of person who prefers walking or biking over driving to a destination, you will be pleased to know Odessa is quite accommodating, with many of the neighborhoods being decently walkable.
According to 2017 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Odessa is home to roughly 117,000 people. More notably, the population of Odessa is increasing by almost 20 percent every decade or so. It is no surprise to see lots of families flocking to the area given how appealing it is. However, Odessa is not free of all troubles. The city’s high crime rate is especially troubling, as experts are saying it is ancillary to another complex issue a “mental health crisis.” Let’s go over, in detail, what that means, why mental health has become such a pressing issue for Odessa, and what you can do to get in contact with a licensed therapist who can help if you are in need.
Unfortunately, the concern of mental illness is one much of America is experiencing. An especially revealing study from Johns Hopkins Medicine estimates a whopping 26 percent of Americans experience a mental health condition during any given year. Narrowing the scope of the statistics, unfortunately, fails to provide more hopeful results. As per a 2017 study commissioned by Mental Health America, the state of Texas as a whole ranks in the top 50 percent of states regarding the prevalence of mental illness and a lack of access to care. So, what is contributing to the problem in Odessa, in particular?
First of all, Odessa has a significant crime problem. According to the most recent statistics provided by the FBI, the overall crime rate in the city is more than 45 percent higher than the national average. Violent crimes, specifically, occur at a disproportionately high rate relative to most American cities in similar conditions. Unfortunately, the relationship between crime and mental health is not insignificant. Areas that enjoy low rates of crime also see less mental illness, and vice versa. Unfortunately, Odessa is no exception in that regard. While local officials are taking action against the city’s crime problem, results are slow and a solution is not going to come to fruition overnight. In the meantime, though, Odessa’s crime rate is decreasing by roughly 15 percent each year. It could be worse – some cities experience more crime as time goes on.
Economic problems are also present in Odessa. Plenty of people in the area are living paycheck to paycheck or dealing with being unable to find a decent paying job, regardless of their willingness to participate in the labor market. As a result of sub-par fiscal health, the average income per capita in Odessa is a little lower than the national average, while the cost of rent and number of people per household is significantly higher than the rest of the nation.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Odessa, Texas
A harsh reality is many people across the country are finding the process of reaching out for mental health care as being troublesome. A recent report published by the National Institute of Mental Health estimates almost 60 percent of mentally ill Americans receive no treatment whatsoever during any given year. Experts are partly blaming the low amount of mental health care Americans get on the nationwide shortage of mental health professionals providing treatment.
In the case of Odessa, specifically, county officials are pointing fingers at ineffective legislation, poverty, and stigma surrounding mental illness as being crucial barriers to access to care. An inhabitant of Odessa is around three times as likely to be living with no form of health insurance. A good chunk of those with an absence of insurance are also low-income earners. For them, the out-of-pocket expense of counseling is not economically feasible.
Mental Health Resources in Odessa, Texas
Thanks to attention from both state and federal entities, the government is directing more funds geared at combating mental illness. More organizations that emphasize the importance of treating mental health conditions are popping up around the state. Odessa residents are fortunate to have a good number of these institutions to choose from when looking for assistance. For example, PermiaCare is a local mental health clinic servicing the community and those in need. Bridges Behavioral Health is another clinic in the area offering similar resources to both youths and adults in the Odessa area.
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