The sprawling city of Providence, Rhode Island is one of the oldest in the United States. First founded in 1636, Providence is best known for being home to many craftsmen who create silverware and fine jewelry. The convenient location of the city allows people to see an attractive view of both the historic Providence River and the Narragansett Bay. Similar to other old cities, Providence’s original most prominent industry was manufacturing. Even though the city’s economy is evolving to being mostly service-industry, the manufacturing roots of Providence are still alive. Textile, jewelry, and silverware products are popular products that inhabitants of Providence are still manufacturing.
According to 2017 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, Providence’s population sits at an impressive 180,393 residents. Years ago, the city’s nickname was the “Beehive of Industry.” While it is true that most people who move to the area are doing so because of job opportunities, the unemployment rate in the city is quite high relative to the rest of the country. The rate of people without jobs is 49 percent higher than the national average. However, that alarming statistic is contributing to a separate, more complex issue. Experts say that Providence is experiencing a mental health crisis. Let’s take a look at what mental health is like in Providence, what the causes of the status quo are, and how you can seek out and get in contact with a licensed therapist who can provide treatment if you are in need.
An Overview of Mental Health in Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is going through what officials are calling a mental health crisis. Unfortunately, the poor state of mental health is affecting the entire state of Rhode Island. According to a 2017 report published by Mental Health America, Rhode Island is in the top ten percent of states regarding the prevalence of mental illness amongst adults. Throughout this text, the term mental illness refers to any disorder of the mind ranging in severity. So, what are the reasons behind the rapidly increasing problem of mental health?
Firstly, Providence’s job market is not what you would call prosperous. Or even decent. The unemployment rate in Providence, Rhode Island is 49 percent higher than the national average. Obviously, there is a strong correlation between unemployment and poverty. Unfortunately, the city of Providence is no exception. According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty level in the city is a whopping 87 percent higher than the national average. Just as there is a link between unemployment and poverty, there is one between areas with high rates of poverty and high rates of mental illness. Once again, Providence is no exception. As per a 2016 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, American adults living below the federal poverty level are more than two times as likely to be diagnosed with a mental disorder.
Another factor negatively influencing the community’s state of mental health, is the current education system. Providence student test scores are abysmally low, relative to both state and national averages. The average student test score in the city is 15 percent, half of the state average, and 69 percent lower than the national average. The link that connects children receiving a poor education and children growing up to become mentally ill is significant. Education plays an important role in one’s mental health.
Crime is also a major problem for the city of Providence. As per information sourced from the most recent FBI statistics, the overall crime rate in Providence is 24% higher than the national average. Moreover, according to a study published by the NIH in 2013, those in an area that experiences rampant crime are more likely to suffer from a mental illness.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Providence, Rhode Island
The fact is, people all over America – not just Providence – are finding that the search for a therapist can be troubling. Currently, there is a nationwide shortage of mental health professional treatment providers. Also, many people report feeling overwhelmed at times. With therapy, it’s recommended you create a list of attainable, reasonable goals that will coincide with your counseling sessions.
In the case of Providence, officials are attributing the lack of mental health care to laws with poor design, poverty, and stigma. As mentioned earlier, Providence is not a haven of prosperity. The city’s unemployment rate exceeds that of the national average by 49 percent. Approximately 15.5 percent of Providence residence lack any form of health insurance. Naturally, those that are low-income and without health insurance will not be able to afford the out-of-pocket expense of therapy.
Mental Health Resources in Providence, Rhode Island
Many county officials argue that Providence has too little organizations focused on treating those with mental illnesses. However, there are still quite a few in the area. For example, The Providence Center is a renowned mental health clinic that offers a bevy of services to those in need. The Center for Women’s Behavioral Health is also located in the city. They give women access to breast exams, fertility centers, and more.
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