An Overview of Mental Health in Port Arthur, Texas
Located on the southeast side of Texas with access to the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico, Port Arthur, Texas is full of many activities and attractions that both locals and tourists alike enjoy. Residents can experience the beach by visiting Sea Rim State Park and the Port Arthur Boardwalk. Outdoor enthusiasts living in Port Arthur have access to many outdoor activities and exercise opportunities like the several bike and hiking trails in the city, great fishing spots, and a few bird watching hotspots. There are also several popular religious and historical sites to visit including the Museum of the Gulf Coast and the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
The community of Port Arthur is part of Jefferson County and has a population of 55,489 people. While residents are able to benefit from a wide variety of recreational activities in the area, the community is struggling in several significant ways For instance, the unemployment rate in Port Arthur is 5.7 percent, which is higher than both the national and state average, and the poverty rate is extremely high at 30.7 percent. The median household income in the city is $32,571, and the per capita income is $18,471.
While there are many factors that play into an individual’s mental health condition, poverty and financial strain are strong indicators of a poor mental health. In addition, poverty and unemployment can also prolong episodes of mental disorders. There are people with mental illnesses in Port Arthur who need to know what resources are available to them in their area.
Mental Health Concerns in Port Arthur, Texas
In the state of Texas, there are approximately 3,196,000 individuals with a mental illness. While many of the issues surrounding mental illness are seen state and nationwide, there are several mental health concerns that are specific to Port Arthur and the surrounding area:
- Suicide: The suicide rate in the Port Arthur area is around 14 individuals per 100,000 people. This is higher than the rate in Texas as a whole which is at 12 suicide deaths per 100,000 people. The risk is highest among males and older adults.
- Substance Abuse: In Jefferson County, 92 people died of a drug overdose death in 2018. Crystal methamphetamine is the top used drug in southeast Texas.
- Incarceration: Like the rest of the country, Texas finds that many of their mentally ill citizens are incarcerated. In fact, the Harris County Jail in Houston, Texas and the Dallas County Jail are the top two mental health institutions in the state.
- Homelessness: The estimated total number of homeless living in Texas was 23,548 people in 2017. Southeast Texas in particular has a growing homeless problem. It is estimated that approximately 45 percent of homeless people countrywide have a mental illness.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Port Arthur, Texas
Although mental health problems are extremely prevalent throughout the United States, an overwhelming percentage of those with mental illnesses are not receiving the help they need. In Texas specifically, 62.2 percent of individuals with a mental illness of any sort reported that they did not receive treatment.
One major issue that gets in the way of people getting the treatment they need is a lack of insurance. In Port Arthur, about 33.4 percent of the population does not have health insurance. Additionally, Texas ranks 50th in mental health workforce availability. There is only one mental health provider for every 1,010 residents which reveals that it is difficult for people to find available mental health providers in their area.
Mental Health Resources in Port Arthur, Texas
For those looking for resources in Port Arthur Texas, there are several available to them. Those in a crisis that are in need of immediate assistance can access several hotlines including the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-SUICIDE), the Texas Health and Human Services Commission number (2-1-1), and the National Youth Crisis Hotline (1-800-448-4663). Other important resources include the City of Port Arthur Health Department, the Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas hospitality center, and the Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeast Texas.
In addition, individuals with mental health concerns can benefit from meeting with a therapist. E-Counseling offers an online therapist directory for anyone looking for a professional in their area. Simply search for therapists in Port Arthur and access valuable information about mental health professionals in the city today.