An Overview of Mental Health in Warner Robins, Georgia
A decline in mental health can have a profoundly negative effect on people’s lives and lead to other problems that may impact them for years. From depression to severe anxiety to addictive behaviors that stem from past trauma, there are many mental disorders that are both misunderstood and stigmatized, which might cause those who suffer from them to avoid seeking professional help. Gaining a better understanding of these mental disorders and what kinds of factors may impact certain locales, such as Warner Robins, Georgia, may lead to improved treatment for those who suffer in silence.
Mental Health Factors in Warner Robins
Warner Robins is located directly in the center of Georgia, in Houston County, and is home to 74,401 people. While the city’s citizens enjoy a warm climate with mild winter months and improvements in areas that were experiencing decay, some individuals suffer from mental issues that may be influenced by a variety of factors, and these can include:
- Unemployment: The city’s unemployment rate is 4.4 percent, which is .04 percent higher than the national average;
- An increase in violent crimes: Rapes, robberies and incidents of arson have all increased since 2002, leading Warner Robins to have one of the highest crime indexes in the country;
- A high suicide rate: Georgia’s suicide rate has increased steadily since 1999, and the friends and relatives of those who commit suicide can be left with serious mental issues, including depression and anxiety;
- Poverty: 21 percent of Georgia’s children live in poverty, and it is likely that those who do have little to no access to health care. This puts teens and young adults who depend on their parents for health care at significant risk, especially for those who develop depression or anxiety at adolescence.
Other factors may also be affecting the mental health of residents in Warner Robins. Some residents live in outlying areas of the city, where services may be difficult to reach. Teen pregnancy could be affecting the mental health of either parent, as the birth rate per 1,000 females from the ages of 15-19 in the state is 25.6, 3.3 higher than the national average.
Mental Health Concerns in Warner Robins
There is an urgent need for mental health care in Warner Robins, and one assessment survey revealed that residents of the city cite problems as depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide/self-harm and feeling guilty or ashamed about their mental health issues as being high on the list of their concerns. This is troubling, especially when the same report notes that 50 percent of residents in Houston County own a firearm.
Suicide is another major concern for residents of the city and county. The current rate for Houston County is 13.1 percent, which is higher than both state and national averages. Anxiety, stress, depression and worries over financial troubles may all be contributors to suicide. Those who suffer from undiagnosed or untreated disorders such as bipolar depression and schizophrenia are generally at a greater risk for suicidal actions, as their thoughts may race or fixate on the idea of self-harm until they actually carry it out.
The Challenges of Finding Mental Health Care in Warner Robins
Although Warner Robins does have its share of mental healthcare facilities, not all its residents may have access to it. In fact, there are a variety of challenges they may face when it comes to seeking treatment. These depend largely on certain demographic factors that can include the following:
- Lack of transportation
- Pre-authorization from a medical professional to seek treatment
- Physical disabilities among elderly individuals who cannot travel for treatment
- Financial problems that prevent afflicted individuals from being able to afford treatment or medication
No matter which factors prevent the residents of Warner Robins from finding the mental health care they need, it is important that professionals and medical organizations in the area make the general populace aware of what type of sliding-scale payments and other public assistance options may be available.