Vegas. To many, it’s the land of opportunity – one of the rare places left in the world where you can strike gold, given enough patience. It’s a place where world-renowned acts play daily at famous venues, and people looking for a good time are never underwhelmed.
That’s one way of looking at it. Unfortunately, the shadow side to this coin is that Las Vegas is a city steeped in gambling addiction, alcoholism, and other problems that can interfere with an individual’s well-being.
In other words, Vegas’ state of mental health isn’t as good as it could be. Unfortunately, people don’t address the mental health of Las Vegas as often as should be done, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to report on Vegas’ mental health in this article.
The State of Mental Health in Las Vegas
From the start, Las Vegas has a pretty bad rep for mental health. The region is located in Nevada, which is currently ranked lowest out of all states in regards to its mental health facilities, according to Mental Health America.
That said, they only rank 36th in terms of prevalence of mental illness – not the worst, but far from being the best. However, even though they rank on the higher end for frequency of mental illnesses, they offer the least amount of mental health services to their students.
A whopping 68% of people in Nevada who struggle with mental health illnesses don’t get the treatment that they need. Instead, there is a high prevalence of drinking and gambling – methods of self-medicating that many people take on themselves when they’re unable to get help from a professional.
A Lack of Psychiatrists
Dr. Gregory P. Brown founded the Psychiatry Residency Training Program in Vegas, and he’s not ecstatic about the current state of mental health. According to him, there’s currently a shortage of psychiatrists so serious that he has labelled it a crisis.
There are only about 5 psychiatrists available per 100,000 people in the city. That’s about half as other similar-sized cities. Cities with better mental health reps, such as New York, have as much as 6 times the amount.
One of the reasons for this is because of Vegas’ ever-growing population. In the last 20 years, the population of the city has doubled, but there hasn’t been much of an increase in the psychiatrist population.
Another potential reason for this would be the same reason that many of the now-permanent Las Vegas residents decided to move there in the first place. When someone decides to move to Vegas, it’s usually because they’re interested in the night life and the glamorous experiences to be had here – not because they’re interested in opening up a therapist’s office.
The situation is so bad that Vegas has actually had to send mental health patients to different states. Between the years of 2008 and 2013, more than 1,500 patients were sent from Nevada to be treated in other cities, many of which were left in unfamiliar regions without a proper plan to deal with their mental health problems.
What to Do if You Have a Mental Health Problem
If you think that you’re struggling with a mental health problem, then you should seek help from a therapist or counselor as soon as possible. In an area like Vegas, where opportunities for alcoholism and gambling addictions are ripe, it’s better to nip the problem in the bud before it becomes worse.
Even with the shortage of professionals in the city, finding a therapist in Las Vegas is relatively easy and cheap. If traditional counseling is out of the question for you, consider seeking alternative options like speaking to an online therapist in Las Vegas. This way, you can connect with a counselor and therapist anywhere and whenever best fits your personal schedule.