An Overview of Mental Health in Springdale, Arkansas
Springdale, Arkansas is not exactly the best place to live. Though it received an A in amenities and a B in both Cost of Living and Housing, it received an F in terms of Crime and Education and a D in employment. According to Data USA, more than one fifth of the 76,188 residents live in poverty.
That said, in terms of median household income, Springdale actually rates higher than the state of Arkansas, at $44,854. While that is substantially less than the national median, it is on par with the low cost of living in the state.
Springdale’s population is fairly diverse, with 49 percent white, 36.4 percent Hispanic and 6.65 percent Hawaiian. Just 80.1 percent of Springdale residents are U.S. citizens, and nearly 40 percent speak a language other than English. These factors, along with those shared later in this article, may contribute to the mental health crisis in Springdale and all of Alabama.
Growing Mental Health Concerns
In terms of accessibility of mental healthcare, Arkansas is one of the worst states in which one can live. This fact may contribute to the state’s growing emotional and behavioral concerns. Below are a few facts regarding the state’s state of mental health, pulled from the the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ website:
- 5 percent of Arkansas’s population reported having frequent mental distress, compared with just 10.7 percent of the national population.
- The rate of mental distress is higher among Arkansas women, at 14 percent, compared to men, at 11 percent.
- The highest rate of mental distress was reported in women 25 to 34 years old, which also happens to be the state’s largest sect of population living in poverty.
- Depression is the primary cause of disability for Arkansas adults, outranking cancer, heart disease and stroke.
- In 2010, Arkansas’s suicide rate was 15.3 per 100,000 people, a high rate among in the South.
That study just looked at the emotional wellbeing of the adult population. Another study examines mental illness in the state’s juvenile population:
- 40 percent of Arkansas high school students report feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks in a row, compared with just 31 percent of students on a national level.
- 13 percent of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 report having had at least one major depressive episode between 2015 and 2016.
- 23 percent of the state’s high school students admit to having contemplated suicide, compared to just 17 percent of U.S. students. 16 percent actually attempted suicide one or more times.
Arkansas’s mental health crisis affects the entire population, children included. You would think that, because adolescents are affected, the state would take greater measures to combat the concerns, but it doesn’t.
Arkansas Is One of the Least Mental-Health Friendly States
According to a Report in the Arkansas Times, there are on average 11.4 mental health professionals per 100,000 U.S. residents, which is dismal in and of itself. However, there are only 5.2 per 100,000 Arkansas residents. To add insult to injury, the dispersal of these psychiatrists is uneven, with Little Rock having 9.2 while smaller cities have as little as 3.2 per 100,000 residents. As for the availability of psychiatric beds, the standard is 50 beds per 100,000 residents. Arkansas was ranked as the state with the third fewest number of accomodations, with just 6.7 public beds per 100,000 residents.
Factors That Affect Mental Health in Springdale and Surrounding Areas
As mentioned above, there are several factors that may contribute to Arkansas’s poor state of mental health. For one, there’s the poverty rate. Poverty is directly linked to poor mental health. Poverty in the area may be the result of an inadequate education, low employment or preexisting mental health conditions. According to AreaVibes, the education system in Arkansas is bad, but it’s worse in Springdale. The schools are overcrowded, the test scores are low and there are just three private schools in the area.
Property and violent crime rates in Springdale are higher than those in all of Arkansas and the U.S. Crime puts people at an even greater financial disadvantage, not to mention incites fear and anxiety.
Where To Turn When You Need Help
It’s utopian to think that by fixing the state’s mental healthcare crisis all other issues such as poverty and crime would disappear. However, it would be a step in the right direction. If you or a loved one lives with a mental illness, don’t hide – seek the treatment you need to make a better life for yourself. Use E-Counseling’s directory to find a compassionate and qualified psychiatrist near you.