Logan County, a region which lies in the heart of West Virginia nestled amidst the rugged Appalachian Mountains is consisted with mental health crisis. It is estimated that approximately 32% of adult in this region experiences depression and other mental problems.
Factors Contributing To The Crisis
The factors contributing to these crisis are –
- Economic decline- Collapse of the coal industry lead to high unemployment rate which had consequence of widespread poverty and 20-25% of the population have reached below
poverty line. This lead to limited access to essential resources such as healthcare, education and employment.
- Substance abuse- Prevalence of opioid addiction lead to high rates of death by opioid overdoses which estimated the death of 100-150 per 100,000 people.
- Stigma- Deep-rooted stigma related to mental illness exhibits a negative impact towards mental health conditions. This lead to lack of open conversation about mental illness due to fear of judgement.
- Mental health services- Limited access to mental health care leads to shortage of mental health professionals that estimated 1 psychologist per 10,000 people. People living rural areas have some geographics barriers to care and have to wait for long time to get access to help regarding this situation.
Addressing The Crisis: A Multifaceted Approach
To tackle Logan County’s mental health crisis, the following steps are being taken-
- Started investing in economic revitalisation efforts to create jobs and alleviate poverty is important to restore hope and to reduce stress.
- Reducing substance abuse by following the prevention, treatment and harm reduction steps is also an important step.
- Expanding the sources to get access to the mental health services including medication and treatment.
- Addressing the stigma surrounding mental illness by following public education and awareness campaigns to create a more supportive and understanding community.
Logan County is experiencing mental health crisis which demands a comprehensive and sustained response. But now the Logan County can begin to heal and pave the way towards a brighter future for its residents by addressing underlying economic and social factors.