An Overview of Mental Health in Youngstown, Ohio
Youngstown is a city in Ohio, and the seat of Mahoning County. Estimates published by the United States Census Bureau place the city’s population at just over 64,600 as of July 2017, a decrease of about 3.5% compared to figures noted in the 2010 Census survey. This change may reflect some of the economic difficulties the region faces, a situation that traces back to the 1980s and the closures of local steel production facilities that left tens of thousands without jobs.
Unfortunately, Youngstown is not trending positively in terms of employment. The average rate of pay also trails behind much of the country, further exasperating economic problems for many in the area. As result, the city is currently contending with one of the highest rates of poverty in the U.S. These are a few of the potential root causes of mental health issues affecting the city’s populace.
Education and Mental Health
An examination of the fiscal challenges facing any given area must often begin with an analysis of certain educational factors. Statistics reveal a number of alarming realities in this regard, including the following:
- Youngstown trails the rest of the nation in terms of high school graduation rate (83% versus 87%).
- The percentage of individuals with a bachelor’s degree reflects an even greater disparity, just 12% in Youngstown compared to 30% nationwide.
- The city’s 17% high school dropout rate exceeds the U.S. average of 13%.
It’s likely no surprise that a lack of education often correlates with a lower rate of income. This, in turn, often serves to limit a person’s or family’s ability to attain beneficial goods and services, including those that might impact both physical and mental health.
Other findings indicate that education can influence a range of psychological factors. Social skills and networking are often improved through the pursuit of higher education. The development of more refined mental skills can also help to limit or reduce stress, one of the more notable contributors to poor mental health.
The Effects of Poverty in Youngstown, Ohio
A 20-year study put forward by the World Health Organization places the problem into sharp focus: those in poorer segments of the population are nearly twice as likely to suffer some form of mental illness than wealthier individuals. Common biproducts of poverty are said to contribute to this link, such as hunger, debt and substandard housing.
Youngstown is a city coping with an extraordinary challenge from this standpoint; some estimates place the poverty rate as high as 38%. While figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics do indicate that unemployment decreased between November ’17 and ’18, it remained about 50% higher than the countrywide average. Making matters worse, the recent closure of a major auto production plant seemed likely to further impact the population, leaving an additional 2% of the workforce without employment.
Even those in Youngstown who remain gainfully employed are still likelier to deal with some type of economic insufficiency. The city ranks in the top five in a number of troubling categories, including:
- Lowest U.S. median income by city: No. 4 overall ($26,789)
- Highest U.S. poverty rate by city: No. 5 overall ($35.2%)
- Highest U.S. childhood poverty rate by city: No. 3 overall (53.5%)
Beneficial Resources in Youngstown
Mental health challenges can be very difficult to address, but it’s important to know that help is within reach. A range of resources are available to residents of Youngstown and surrounding areas. Here is a short list of local organizations to consider:
- Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board offers a broad spectrum of services, including crisis management, elderly assistance and family-oriented programs.
- Compass Family and Community Services provides a valuable resource, addressing domestic and sexual assault, homeless youth and substance abuse therapy.
- Alta Behavioral Healthcare serves the mental health needs of children, teens and their families, with offices located in Youngstown, Boardman and Austintown.
Simplifying the Search
Finding the help you need may not be an overnight process, but the search is made easier with the right kind of roadmap. Consider the E-Counseling directory as a starting point in your mental health journey. It was made to help those in need connect with caring professionals in their areas, so get started on your path to mental wellness with confidence today.