An Overview of Mental Health in Terre Haute, Indiana
Terre Haute, the county seat of Vigo County, was founded in 1811 by French explores who gave it its name because of a plateau-like area that adjoined the Wabash River. In its early days, Terre Haute prospered as a water trade route for steamboats. This trade further benefited from the building of the National Road, the Erie and Wabash Canals and the arrival of the railroad. At one time, it did have a Union Station, but it was later demolished in 1960. After the Civil War, the city’s pork industry declined drastically but was taken over by the arrival of coal and iron. By the 70s, Vigo County was in the top five producers for both minerals. For all these reasons and more, the leaders of Terre Haute envisaged great things for the city’s future.
Unfortunately, greatness evaded Terre Haute in the 20th century. The end of World War II marked the beginning of the city’s industrial decline. The city never fully recovered, which may be a major contributor to the area’s mental health concerns.
Terre Haute in Numbers
As mentioned above, Terre Haute never fully recovered from the devastation caused by World War II. Today, the median household income is $34,746. The median income per capita is $19,263. To put that in perspective, the median income per capita in the U.S. is $31,177. Terre Haute is one of the lowest earning cities in Vigo County and surrounding counties. Households make nearly $17,000 less than other households in the state. More than one quarter—26.4 percent—of the population lives in poverty.
The median property value in Terre Haute is $76,000. Again, that is far less than the state or national median. Terre Haute has the lowest property value median of any surrounding town or county. As a result, property taxes are, on average, less than $800.
The cost of living in Terre Haute is fairly reasonable, earning itself a B+ from AreaVibes. Its COL index is just 85, which is lower than the state’s, which is 89. Utilities, however, are more expensive than the national average, thereby earning it a 113 index rating.
Factors May Affect Residents’ Mental Health
This biggest factor present that may contribute to poor mental health is poverty. Several studies show an undeniable connection between poverty and mental illness, and that people of low socioeconomic status have a higher likelihood of developing or living with mental illness. Some stats worth noting are the following:
- Children and adults who live in households that earn 20 percent less than the income bracket are two to three times more likely to live with mental disorders.
- Children who grow up in poverty are more likely to perform poorly in school and demonstrate worse cognitive, attention-related and behavioral outcomes than their peers. They are also more likely to exhibit higher rates of depressive and anxiety disorders, delinquency and almost every psychiatric disorder in adulthood.
- Poverty in adults is associated with anxiety and depressive disorders, psychological distress and suicide.
Poverty aside, there are other factors that may contribute to the declining state of mental health in Terre Haute. Those include the following:
- Crime: Terra Haute has almost twice the amount of crime as the state of Indiana and the United States. Property crime is the biggest crime threat in the area. Fear of crime is associated with poorer mental health, lower physical functioning and reduced quality of life.
- Excessive Drinking:9 percent of individuals admit to excessive drinking in Vigo County. Excessive drinking can cause depression, anxiety, anger, mood disorders and job loss.
- HIV Diagnoses: In 2017, Vigo County reported 236.6 HIV diagnoses per 100,000 individuals. An HIV diagnose may lead to fear, anxiety, social isolation and suicide.
- Obesity: More than one-third of Vigo County residents are obese. Obesity can cause embarrassment, self-loathing and depression, amongst physical health concerns.
Find the Help You Deserve
Vigo County has 140 mental health care professionals for every 100,000 individuals. While this is not bad compared to many other counties, the modest number may make it difficult for those living with mental illness to find the affordable and quality care they need and deserve. That’s where E-Counseling comes in. E-Counseling’s mental health directory can help you find a compassionate and quality therapist via a quick zip code search. Find the care you need today – check out the directory now.