Finding Mental and Behavioral Health Care in Peoria, Illinois
Peoria is located in central Illinois and is the largest city on the Illinois River. According to the U.S. Census Bureau estimates for 2017, it has a population of 112,883 residents, which makes it the seventh most populous city in the state. Peoria’s population actually decreased slightly as compared to the 2010 census counts. The city is also the county seat for the namesake county of Peoria.
The median household income in Peoria is estimated at $46,547 by the U.S. Census Bureau. In comparison, the median income in the state of Illinois is much higher at $59,196. Furthermore, 21.7% of the city’s population lives below the poverty line, a percentage higher than the state and national averages of just over 12%. On the positive side, the percentage of Peoria residents under 65 years of age with no health insurance is only 9.4%, which is in close proximity to the national average of 10.2%.
Looking at these socioeconomic statistics is important when discussing mental health and access to health care in general. Individuals with low income and no medical insurance coverage in the United States are usually less likely to seek health care due to its high cost. This is especially true for preventative services and mental health care as they are often looked upon as non-essential. Poor mental health however can be very detrimental to one’s quality of life and wellbeing. Feelings of depression, stress and other emotional problems can hinder everyday activities such as work, school, hobbies, and even social interactions. As a matter of fact, in the Community Health Needs Assessment 2016 published by OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, respondents identified some of the top socioeconomic and environmental factors affecting their wellbeing as employment options, poverty and access to health care.
The State of Mental Health in Peoria, Illinois
The Community Health Needs Assessment also named healthy behaviors and mental health as the top two health priorities in this community. According to the Assessment, 20.7% of Peoria County residents reported having 1 to 7 days of poor mental health in the past month, and 17.8% reported experiencing more than 8 unhealthy mental days. The term “poor mental health” references conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety rather than serious mental disorders as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Peoria County also had a higher suicide rate than the state of Illinois with approximately 12.2 incidents per 100,000 people compared to 10.05 deaths per 100,000 statewide.
The Assessment also raised concerns regarding the level of substance abuse among high school students. In Peoria County 25% of 8th graders reported drinking alcohol, 5% reported cigarette use and 15% reported smoking marijuana. These percentages rise drastically among 12th graders with 53% consuming alcohol, 16% smoking cigarettes and 38% using marijuana. As a matter of fact, drug abuse and alcohol consumption were identified by the Assessment respondents as two of the most troubling unhealthy behaviors in this community.
Available Mental Health Resources in Peoria, Illinois
Unlike many underserved communities, Peoria residents have quite a few options when it comes to mental and behavioral health care. Some of the local organizations and facilities providing such services include UnityPoint Health – Methodist/Proctor, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Human Service Center, Hult Center for Healthy Living, FamilyCore, and NAMI Tri-County Illinois.
In addition to these resources, you can reach out for mental and behavioral health help to any of the therapists and counselors listed in our professional directory. We strive to feature only the top service providers in the area in order to better assist you in your search for mental health care for yourself or a loved one.