An Overview of Mental Health Resources in Wilmington, North Carolina
For many, the eye-catching city of Wilmington, North Carolina is the perfect place to experience southern living. Amenities available in the area are plentiful and easy to access. If you are the type to prefer walking or taking a bicycle over driving, you should be happy to know that most neighborhoods around Wilmington are perfectly walkable in addition to a reliable number of convenient bike lanes ready for use. Downtown Wilmington is a fantastic place to catch a movie, go out for a bite to eat, and more. The lively nightlife of the area is always booming making it hard to ever become bored. 2017 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau estimate approximately 119,000 people live in the city of Wilmington.
That’s a large population. However, what’s even more notable is how many people are moving to Wilmington in droves. The population of the city increases by almost 12 percent every decade or so – significantly greater than many neighboring cities.
It is not hard to see why people want to move to Wilmington, North Carolina. That being said, the city is not free of all misfortune. The state of Wilmington’s economy is relatively deficient. For example, the average income per capita is far lower than the rest of the nation, as per the U.S. Census Bureau. The economic troubles of Wilmington are ancillary to a separate, equally complex problem. Experts are saying the city of Wilmington in addition to much of the United States is going through a “mental health crisis.” Let’s go over what mental health looks like in the city, how the situation got to be so damaging, and what you can do to get in contact with a licensed therapist who can help if you are in need.
An Overview of Mental Health in Wilmington, North Carolina
Unfortunately, the concern of mental health is one that many places across America are facing. A particularly alarming report published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness suggests almost 20 percent of American adults experience a mental illness in a given year. Narrowing the scope of the statistics fails to yield better results. As per a 2017 study commissioned by Mental Health America, the state of North Carolina ranks in the top 55 percent of states regarding the prevalence of mental illness as well as the lack of access to mental health care. In this context and for future reference, the term mental illness refers to any psychiatric disorder ranging in severity. For example, schizophrenia or clinical depression. So, what is causing mental illness to run so rampant across Wilmington, specifically?
First of all, Wilmington is dealing with a paramount crime problem. According to the most recent statistics sourced from the FBI, the overall crime rate in the city is almost 70 percent higher than the national average. Criminals are committing infractions that involve violence at far greater rates than typical American cities. It is no secret that crime and mental health have a significant relationship. Research tells us areas that have lower rates of crime enjoy lower rates of mental health conditions. Regrettably, the city of Wilmington is no exception in that regard. Thankfully, politicians are bringing forward plans to help alleviate the crime problem. But results are not going to come to fruition overnight.
As mentioned before, the city of Wilmington’s economy is not the strongest. Many residents are living paycheck to paycheck, or even struggling to find any employment, despite their willingness to participate in the labor market. The unemployment rate in Wilmington is 12 percent greater than the national average. Of course, unemployment creates poverty. According to Area Vibes, the poverty level in the city of Wilmington is 51 percent higher than the national average. There is a strong link between income and mental health. American adults living in abject poverty are two times as likely to suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder relative to middle-class individuals, as per a recent study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Wilmington, North Carolina
Some people are not aware of how troublesome many Americans are finding the process of reaching out to a therapist can be. A worrying 2018 report from the National Institute of Mental Health estimates 57 percent of Americans who suffer from a mental disorder receive no treatment during any given year, regardless of the necessity of doing so. Experts are partly blaming the nationwide shortage of mental health professionals providing treatment to patients.
In the case of Wilmington, people are pointing fingers at ineffective/harmful legislation, poverty, and stigma. A person living in Wilmington is twice as likely to lack any form of health insurance relative to the rest of the nation, as per the U.S. Census Bureau. Many people who are dealing with an absence of insurance are also low-income earners. For them, a lot of the time the out-of-pocket expense of counseling is not economically feasible.
Mental Health Resources in Wilmington, North Carolina
Fortunately, thanks to attention from state and federal entities, the government is directing more funds towards combatting mental illness. More organizations who focus on providing mental health care are able to exist. In Wilmington, there is a good number of places with their doors open servicing the community. RHA Behavioral Health is a renowned mental health clinic in the area that is focused on improving the city’s mental health. PORT Health is another institution offering similar services.
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