An Overview of Mental Health in Rowlett, Texas
Every year, one in every five Americans will experience some form of mental illness. Although stigma surrounding the issue has begun to decrease in recent years, there is still much progress to be made. The US is experiencing a mental health crisis. Because there are so many people suffering from mental illness, and increasingly fewer practicing mental health professionals, it is extremely difficult to get the necessary help to everyone who needs it.
Texas is one state that is struggling with mental health care access. Mental Health America created a rating system it used to rank each state based on how it is handling mental health. Criteria include prevalence of illness, ease of care access and adult versus youth mental health. In 2019, Texas received an overall score of 43 out of 50 states plus Washington DC. The higher the number, the poorer the score. Furthermore, the state faired even worse in terms of access to care at number 50. Many factors can affect these scores, especially in a state as large as Texas. It’s important to investigate smaller areas as different issues affect different communities. One example is Rowlett, Texas.
Rowlett at a Glance
Rowlett is an eastern suburb of Dallas located in both Dallas and Rockwall Counties, making it a part of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area. In 2017, it had a population of 62,868 residents. The median income the same year was just over $90,000, while the per capita income was approximately $35,000. The unemployment rate is 5.5 percent and the poverty rate is 6.7 percent. Rowlett’s population is predominantly white, but there is also a large Hispanic community.
Mental Health in Rowlett
Many factors combine to affect the state of mental health in a community. Rowlett has its own unique circumstances just like anywhere else.
As stated earlier, Texas was rated almost dead last among states for access to mental health care. This issue is reflected in a 2016 community health needs assessment from Baylor Scott & White Health. The report listed several reasons for the poor access, including language barriers and a shortage of providers, as well as issues for the low-income population, particularly with a lack of transportation to affordable care they would otherwise be able to utilize.
The suicide rates in Dallas and Rockwall Counties are not far off from the national and state averages. Respectively, the rates from 2014 to 2016 were 10.2 and 13.4 per 100,000 people. Meanwhile the rate in Texas was 12.4 and the national rate was 13.2. So while the rate in Dallas County is safely below the national average, it did go up slightly since the previous two years. On the other hand, Rockwall County’s rate is slightly above the national average, but has alternately gone down since the previous two-year high of 14.9.
Unfortunately though, the Rowlett area has seen a large increase in youth suicide rates. From 2012 to 2015 the rate was 2.4 per 100,000 in Dallas County. In 2016, that rate went up to 10.3 per 100,000. That means a 79 percent increase, a shocking rise in such a short amount of time. The county’s Child Death Review Team is working to increase awareness about suicide in hopes of preventing more children and teens from becoming victims.
Rowlett is home to a significant number of veterans of the Vietnam War. The population is 1.58 times higher than that of other war veterans. Mental health care is crucial for every member of the armed forces, especially those who were involved in combat.
The VA has conducted extensive research regarding the health of Vietnam veterans in the decades following the conflict. The 2015 research found that around 11 percent of Vietnam veterans were suffering from PTSD, even over 40 years later.
Resources in Rowlett
Mental illness can be a debilitating issue for many people, contributing to problems in one’s personal and professional life. It’s important to remember that you are not the only one dealing with these issues and there is always help available. To find help in Rowlett, try E-Counseling. E-Counseling is an online directory of mental health providers with a powerful search tool so you can find a provider near you that meets your criteria.