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LICSW, MSW
Areas of Expertise
  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Coping with Life Transitions
  • Depression
  • Marriage and Relationships
Areas of Expertise
  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Coping with Life Transitions
Areas of Expertise
  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Attachment & Codependency
  • PTSD
  • Self Esteem
  • Trauma
Areas of Expertise
  • Anger Management
  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Coping with Life Transitions
  • Family Conflicts
  • Spiritual Struggles
Areas of Expertise
  • Marriage and Relationships
LMHC in RI and MA CRC
Areas of Expertise
  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Coping with Life Transitions
  • Depression
  • PTSD

An Overview of Mental Health in Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Pawtucket is a one-time mill town in Rhode Island with a long history of manufacturing that continues to this day. At one time, part of the city was actually a part of Massachusetts as a result of a border dispute that lasted 225 years. Pawtucket, which means “river fall” in the Algonquian language, is the fourth largest city in Rhode Island with a population of 71,434 in 2016. The city is also known as “Rhode Island’s creative city” and has maintained an Arts and Entertainment District, 307 acres in size, for over 20 years.

Pawtucket Demographic Data

Approximately half the population of Pawtucket, 52.5 percent, identifies as white, while approximately one in five, 21.7 percent, identify as Hispanic. People identifying as black or African American represent 14.7 percent of the population, while 4.6 percent identify as two or more races and 0.1 percent identify as American Indian.

About 15.6 percent of the Pawtucket population lived in poverty as of 2016, including 32.4 percent of Latino (Hispanic) residents, 21.7 percent of African American residents, 20 percent for residents of two or more races, and 5.8 percent of American Indian residents. Overall, the median household income in Pawtucket for 2016 was lower than the median for the state of Rhode Island: $46,792 and $60,596, respectively.

Only about 19 percent of people in Pawtucket age 25 years or older held a bachelor’s degree or higher between 2013 and 2017, compared with 80.3 percent of people with at least a high school diploma.

Statewide, adults in Rhode Island report an average of 3.6 days of poor mental health per month, which is approximately equal with the national average of 3.4 days. However, the percentage of Pawtucket residents who reported 8 to 30 days of poor mental health per month ranged from 16.8 percent to 28 percent, depending on the geographical area in which the respondents lived.

Overall, among all the New England states, Rhode Island residents of all ages experience the poorest mental health and substance abuse outcomes. Youth, that is, children 12 to 17 years old, are of particular concern when it comes to mental health issues. The rates of middle and high school students who use illicit drugs are higher in Rhode Island than the national rates and the rates for other New England states. Over a 10-year period, from 2003 to 2013, Rhode Island saw a 53 percent increase in the number of youth hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of mental disorder, the total in 2013 being 2,737.

Factors Affecting Mental Health in Pawtucket

In Pawtucket, there are disparities in both the physical and mental health of residents on the basis of sociological factors such as education, income, and race. Non-white residents of Pawtucket are likely to experience poorer health than white residents, and people with low educational attainment and/or low income are also likely to have relatively worse health. Low income may prevent individuals or families from being able to afford medical care, or it may affect health in more subtle ways, such as determining where an individual or family can live, which in turn can limit access to health services.

Divorce in Pawtucket

Another factor affecting mental health in Pawtucket is divorce. Providence County, where Pawtucket is located, has the second highest divorce rate of Rhode Island counties at 13.43 percent. Only Kent County, at 13.69 percent, is higher. Divorce has the potential to affect the mental health of not only the couple splitting up but their family members as well, especially any children of the relationship.

The Challenge of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Throughout the state of Rhode Island, there are 52 licensed behavioral health clinics. Residents of Pawtucket are somewhat more fortunate in that regard than residents of other parts of the state because Providence County is one of the two counties in the state where most of the behavioral health providers are located, the other being Kent County to the south.

The ratio of mental health providers to Rhode Island citizens is 298:1, which is lower than the national average of 529:1. The relative lack of providers may result in limited access to mental health services, a problem which may be compounded by the sociological factors discussed previously, such as race, education, or income level.

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