An Overview of Mental Health in Racine, Wisconsin
Positioned on the shores of Lake Michigan, the town of Racine, Wisconsin, is in close proximity to the Midwestern metropolitan cities of Milwaukee and Chicago. The 77,542 residents enjoy local attractions such as the Racine Zoo and architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. During the warmer months, people from the area flock to North Beach. The lakefront boasts numerous awards including the prestigious certification as a “Blue Wave” clean beach, a place on Parents magazine’s “Top Ten Family Friendly Beach” list and USA Today’s designation as a “Top 5 Freshwater Beach”.
Despite the many amenities that the city offers, it has its share of difficulties. The Midwest is prone to harsh winters with low temperatures and high rates of snowfall. From an education standpoint, only 17.5 percent of the Racine population has a Bachelor’s Degree compared to the national percentage of 30.3, which subsequently narrows employment possibilities. The 6.9 percent unemployment rate in Racine is higher than the national rate of 5.2 percent. Poverty and crime are other factors that impact the mental health of Racine’s population.
The State of Mental Health in Wisconsin
A nonprofit agency, Mental Health America (MHA) collects data related to US mental health needs. According to MHA, the state of Wisconsin ranks 40 out of 51 in terms of prevalence of mental illness. For overall access to mental health care, it falls at 11 out of 51. These statistics indicate that although Wisconsin residents may experience a relatively higher occurrence of psychological distress, there is likely greater access to insurance coverage and services compared to other areas.
The suicide rate in Wisconsin of 14.64 per 100,000 people is slightly below the country’s average rate of 13.42. It is currently the second leading cause of death for ages 15-34 and third for the 35-44 age group. Although somewhat lower than the US rate, there is no acceptable amount for this premature ending of life. Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and despair do respond to therapeutic intervention. It is critical to seek out services immediately when suicidal thoughts arise.
Poverty in Racine, Wisconsin
US Census Bureau data reveals that 20 percent of the Racine population are living in poverty, significantly higher than the national percentage of 12.3. The effects of poverty are detrimental to the mental health of adults and children. Without financial resources, people may lack the basic necessities such as food, shelter or medical care. These circumstances often make it difficult for children to concentrate in school in order to achieve higher education, creating a cycle of poverty. Adults can easily become hopeless and anxious, leaving little cognitive room to focus on improving their situation. Even without financial means, there are counseling support options. Therapy can help people develop coping mechanisms and make plans to move forward.
Crime Statistics in Racine
For those living in Racine, the unfortunate odds of becoming a victim of crime are 1 in 34. This is 39 percent higher than the Wisconsin average and 7 percent higher than across the US. Criminal acts that do not threaten or inflict harm upon a person are considered property crime, such as burglary and theft. The number of property offenses in Racine (2,277 per 100,000 people) is similar to national data (2,362) but 26 percent higher than the state (1,808).
Of greater concern is the number of crimes that directly threaten or impose bodily harm including robbery, assault, rape and homicide. The prevalence of violent crimes in Racine (672 per 100,000 people) is approximately double that of state (320) and national (383) averages. When victimized in this way, there can be a long-lasting, devastating impact on emotional well-being. People may experience nightmares, depression, debilitating anxiety or continue to relive the traumatic event. Oftentimes counseling services are needed for victims to cope and reestablish feelings of safety and control.
The Challenge of Finding a Therapist in Racine, Wisconsin
Although over 44 million people across the country suffer from mental illness, an astonishingly low 43.1 percent actually receive professional intervention. Financial barriers likely play a significant role, such as lack of mental health insurance or available funds. Other times, the process of finding the right therapist may seem daunting.
At E-Counseling we believe in the importance of emotional support. Our online directory streamlines the process to connect you with a highly qualified counselor in Racine or nearby area to meet your specific needs and situation.