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Mental health in Kansas City

2 Minute Read | Published Nov 24 2023 | Updated Dec 01 2023

Mental health is a topic that affects individuals and families across the country, and Kansas City, Missouri is no exception. In recent years, the city has seen an increase in mental health disorders and problems, with a particular focus on issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

According to the Missouri Department of Mental Health, an estimated 703,000 adults in Missouri suffer from a serious mental illness, including conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depression. Of these adults, 73,000 reside in the Kansas City metropolitan area. These numbers demonstrate the prevalence of mental health disorders in the city and the need for accessible and effective treatment options.

One factor contributing to the rise in mental health issues in Kansas City is the high rate of poverty among its residents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Kansas City has a poverty rate of 16.2%, significantly higher than the national average of 10.5%. Poverty has been linked to increased rates of mental health problems, as individuals living in poverty may face significant stressors and lack access to resources for treatment.

In addition to poverty, other risk factors for mental health disorders in Kansas City include trauma, violence, and substance abuse. According to the 2019 Kansas City Community Health Assessment, nearly 60% of residents have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience, such as physical or emotional abuse. Adverse childhood experiences have been linked to the development of mental health disorders in adulthood, highlighting the need for early intervention and support.

The prevalence of mental health disorders in Kansas City has also been reflected in the city's high suicide rates. In 2017, Missouri had the 15th highest suicide rate in the United States, with an average of 14.2 suicides per 100,000 people. The Kansas City metro area has experienced a similarly high rate, with an average of 12.5 suicides per 100,000 people.

Despite these concerning statistics, there is hope for those struggling with mental health in Kansas City. The city has a variety of resources available for individuals seeking treatment, including community mental health centers, private practices, and support groups. Additionally, Missouri has implemented a statewide initiative called Show-Me Hope, which provides free and confidential counseling services to those who have been affected by disasters or other traumatic events.

It is important to remember that mental health disorders are treatable and recovery is possible. Seeking support and treatment is a sign of strength, and there is no shame in reaching out for help. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder in Kansas City, know that there are resources available and that recovery is within reach.
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