Guide to Finding Mental Health Professionals in Reno, Nevada
Many have given Reno, Nevada the appropriate nickname of “the biggest little city in the world.” The sheer number of things to do makes it a popular area for tourists to enjoy. Reno is best known for the vast amount of casinos, hotels, and entertaining attractions housed within the city limits. As of 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are an estimated 250,000 residents living there. Aside from gambling and nightlife, the people of Reno are known to appreciate the nature surrounding them. On one end of the city lies a sandy desert, teeming with wildlife. On the other, a forested mountainous region which provides people with accessible ski trips and hiking adventures.
Reno is not known for being excessively boring, like some other cities in the area. However, that does not mean that the lively city is free of concerning troubles. Reno is experiencing what officials are calling a mental health crisis. Making matters worse, the problem extends beyond the city. The state of Nevada as a whole is going through similar difficulties. Let’s go over why mental illness among Reno, Nevada residents are so prevalent compared to the rest of the nation, and how to seek out and get in contact with a therapist that can help you if you are in need.
An Overview of Mental Health in Reno, Nevada
As mentioned previously, the problem of high rates of mental illness is not relegated to the city of Reno alone. According to the 2017 State of Mental Health in America study, the state of Nevada came in dead last regarding the mental health of its citizenry. Meaning, Nevada has the highest prevalence of those suffering from mental illnesses in the nation. In this context, mental illness can refer to anything from suicidality and depression to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
A demographic that is exceedingly susceptible to mental illness is homeless individuals and families in the United States. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, between 20 and 25 percent of the homeless population in the United States suffer from a severe mental illness. In comparison, the national average is around six percent. The lack of resources and available care for the homeless only serves to worsen the problem, often being the cause of long-term, chronic homelessness. For homeless people, especially those living in Nevada, access to mental health care is limited or impossible due to Reno’s housing crisis. A recent headcount in January 2018 indicated that there are an estimated 1,119 homeless on Reno’s streets — more than twice the number of permanent housing units available in the city. In Reno alone, County Officials have stated that the city has entered a crisis as the region’s weekly motels have been rapidly disappearing for development. According to reports from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, homelessness is rising at an alarming rate. Approximately 5.9 percent of Nevada residents in 2016 to 2017 were without a home; one of the highest rates in the nation.
As the average cost of rent in Reno continues to skyrocket, low-income families are put at greater risk of becoming homeless. The state of Nevada has the most homeless children in the nation, with 89 percent staying in places not meant for human habitation, thus being unable to receive both general and mental health care. More than 14,000 children in the state were enrolled in school as homeless in 2018, an extremely alarming statistic.
The crime rate in Reno is also cause for concern, undoubtedly negatively affecting the rate of mental illness in the area. There is a strong link between high crime areas and mental illness. In Reno, the overall crime rate is roughly 40 percent higher than the national average, according to the FBI. The rate of theft and violent crime in the city, in particular, are exceptionally high. As more people turn to crime due to factors such as poverty, the rate of mental illness continues to increase dramatically.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Reno, Nevada
Experts are saying Nevada is the worst place to be for people who are dealing with mental health challenges. Unfortunately, Reno is no exception. According to Mental Health America, 67.5 percent of those living in Nevada with a mental illness will not receive the treatment they require. The causes behind that supermajority relate to the nationwide shortage of mental health professionals, poorly made policies, and stigma. In Nevada, there is only one mental health worker per 570 people. Experts unanimously consider this to be abysmally low, and in need of improvement.
The national average for people without health insurance is roughly 8.8 percent. In Reno, however, that number jumps to a whopping 17.7 percent, as per the U.S. Census Bureau. Many are quick to blame the government for their poor influence on the health insurance market, causing premiums to skyrocket. Another contributing factor is the lack of employment in the area, as most people are insured by their employer.
Frequently, those in need of mental health treatment will not seek out care. For some, there is a stigma surrounding solutions like counseling. It’s important to separate your need for professional help from false stigmas and receive the care you need. It is recommended you set attainable goals that you wish to achieve throughout your time in therapy, as well as pinpointing your challenges and the potential causes of them.
Mental Health Resources in Reno, Nevada
For residents of Reno, Nevada, there is a good amount of clinics and hospitals in the area that specializes in treating mental illness. West Hills Hospital is a reachable facility that actively services members of the community suffering from psychiatric issues. Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health is another well-renowned clinic with a focus on mental health, offering a variety of services to those in need.
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