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Mental health in Yakima

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

According to the 2018 State of Mental Health in America report, Washington ranks 19th out of 50 states for overall prevalence of mental illness, with an estimated 20.35% of adults (over 1.46 million people) experiencing some form of mental illness. In Yakima County, specifically, the prevalence of mental illness is slightly higher at 20.6%. This means that approximately 1 in 5 adults in Yakima County are living with a mental health disorder.

The most common mental health disorders in Yakima and Washington include anxiety disorders, depression, and substance use disorders. In fact, Yakima County has the highest prevalence of substance use disorders in the state, with a rate of 9.07%. This is significantly higher than the state average of 6.77%. However, it is important to note that substance use disorders are often co-occurring with other mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

Another concerning statistic is the suicide rate in Yakima County, which is the highest in the state at 19.8 per 100,000 people. This is more than double the state average of 9.8 per 100,000 people. Suicide is often linked to mental health disorders, and it is crucial for individuals to seek help for their mental health before it escalates to this level.

In terms of access to mental health care, Yakima County is below the state average in terms of the number of mental health providers per capita. This can make it difficult for individuals to receive timely and adequate treatment for their mental health concerns. However, there are still several resources available in the community, including mental health clinics, support groups, and hotlines.

It is important to highlight that mental health disorders are treatable and recovery is possible. Seeking help from a mental health professional can lead to improved symptoms and quality of life. Additionally, practicing self-care and engaging in activities that promote mental well-being, such as exercise, mindfulness, and social connection, can also have a positive impact on mental health.

Yakima County is also home to several organizations and initiatives focused on promoting mental health and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. These include the Yakima County Behavioral Health Board, which advocates for mental health services and resources, and the Mental Health First Aid program, which trains community members to offer initial support to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.

In conclusion, while Yakima and Washington face challenges in terms of mental health disorders and access to care, there is hope for those struggling with these issues. By increasing awareness and promoting resources, we can work towards creating a community that supports and prioritizes mental health. Remember, mental health disorders are common and treatable – help is available for those who need it.
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