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Mary Beth James
- Languages: English
- Experience: 12 years
- Languages: English, Spanish
- Experience: 6 years
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Guide to Finding Mental Health Professionals in Portland, Oregon
The beautiful city of Portland is home to over 600,000 people, making it
Oregon’s most populous city. And, the number of residents are
ever-expanding. According to the U.S. Census Bureau , the citizenry of
Portland enlarged by 10% from 2000 to 2010. The city is known for its
creativity and beautiful, lush outdoors. However, not all is good in Portland.
In fact, directors at a new Portland-based clinic, Unity , are calling it a
“mental health crisis.” New reports are released periodically, each shining a
much-needed light on how prolific mental problems are in Portland and
state as a whole. In fact, according to a 2017 study , Oregon ranked as the
worst state for mental health in America. Let’s break down the contributing
factors to this so-called crisis and discuss solutions for those suffering in
An Overview of Mental Health in Portland, Oregon
As mentioned before, the state of Oregon currently stands as the worst
state for mental health. It’s widely believed that the rate of mental illness in
Portland is roughly 40 percent. These mental illnesses can be anything
from eating disorders to anxiety. But, in Portland’s case, depression and
suicide are the primary mental health problems people deal with.
Depression is so prevalent in the city that suicide is the current leading
cause of death and the trend is only continuing, according to a 2018 report
from Lifeline Connections .
So, what’s the reason behind the state-wide mental health epidemic? As
discussed previously, Portland’s population recently received an influx of
transplants. The surge in population is continuing at a steady pace with 8.3
percent growth since 2010, as per the U.S. Census Bureau . This spike is
definitely a contributing factor, as those who live around more people are
more susceptible to mental illness.
Another demographic that’s statistically vulnerable to mental illness are war
veterans. Common ailments for veterans include post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD) and depression. In fact, according to the National
Veterans Foundation, almost one in four veterans suffer from debilitating
depression or PTSD, a dishearteningly high rate. Portland, Oregon is home
to just over 10 percent of Oregon’s entire veteran population, according to
a report published by the state . That’s an extremely high number of very
vulnerable people living as Portlanders; undoubtedly a primary cause of the
high rate of mental illness in the area.
Portland, Oregon is experiencing more than a mental health crisis. The city
is also going through an unceasing increase in the homelessness. As per a
2017 survey , there are 4,177 homeless people in Multnomah County,
where Portland is located. That’s a massive ten percent increase from
2015; a significant surge. The homeless population is also a particularly
vulnerable demographic, featuring exceptionally high rates of mental illness
and substance abuse. According to the National Coalition for the
Homeless , approximately 25 percent of those that are homeless live with a
severe mental illness. For reference, the national average for that statistic
is six percent. Additionally, almost 40 percent of homeless people suffer
from addiction, a key player in mental health problems. Though Portland’s
homeless population isn’t all that much higher than the national average,
the growing nature of it is what’s concerning. Experts attribute the rise to
poor policy decisions on the part of the local government. Recently, a plan
was put in place in an attempt to house every homeless family in the area.
Unfortunately, it was largely unsuccessful and thus deemed a failure.
Portland, Oregon’s divorce rate is one of the highest in the country coming
in at 12.5 percent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the national
average for divorced couples is roughly ten percent. Divorce is another
contributor to Portland’s poor rate of mental health, potentially leaving all
parties involved more likely to develop mental illnesses. The increasing
number of therapists specializing in family therapy for Portlanders is
indicative of the high divorce rate.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Portland, Oregon
Regrettably, only a fraction of those in need of help will receive it. There is
a multitude of reasons behind this, including the fact that for many, finding
a therapist can be an overwhelming process; especially for those seeking
counseling for the first time. However, for the sake of treatment, it’s critical
you find the best therapist possible. It’s important to settle with someone
you’re comfortable speaking with and who offers insightful advice.
Well-reviewed or highly recommended therapists are usually your best bet.
The insurance market in Portland is uneasy at the moment, leaving almost
12 percent of Portlander’s without any health insurance; three points higher
than the national average, as per the U.S. Census Bureau . Additionally,
health insurance hikes are on the horizon, with many Oregonians looking at
a 16 percent increase in premiums by next year. You must pick a therapist
that aligns appropriately with your insurance plan or lack thereof.
Mental Health Resources in Portland, Oregon
The state of Oregon has recognized the state of emergency regarding
mental health and has funded the creation of quite a few distinguished
institutions focusing on treating Portland residents. Unity Center for
Behavioral Health is a new clinic offering a variety of services to those in
need. There’s also Cedar Hills Hospital, a large organization who’s known
for providing quality care for patients.
E-Counseling.com’s therapist directory was created to help those in need of
mental health assistance via counseling find trusted professionals in your
area. Settle for the best experience by using our directory to find a therapist
fit just for you.