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Mental health in Baltimore

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

Mental health disorders have been identified as a significant issue in Baltimore, Maryland. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience mental illness in a given year. In Baltimore, this statistic is even higher, with an estimated 26% of adults (over 140,000 individuals) living with some form of mental illness. This research aims to provide an overview of mental health disorders in the Baltimore, Maryland area, including local statistics, facts, and information about available treatment options, in order to educate and reassure individuals that behavioral health can be treated.

Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders in Baltimore:
Mental health disorders affect people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds in Baltimore. However, certain groups may be more affected than others. According to a 2021 report by the Baltimore City Health Department, the following are some of the statistics related to the prevalence of mental health disorders in Baltimore:

- In 2019, there were over 13,000 emergency department visits related to mental health in Baltimore.
- Approximately 30% of adults in Baltimore report experiencing symptoms of depression at some point in their lives.
- Among high school students in Baltimore, 35% report feeling hopeless or sad for more than two weeks in a row.
- 13% of adults aged 18-64 in Baltimore have a serious mental illness, which significantly impacts their daily functioning.
- The estimated prevalence of mental illness among youth (aged 3-17) in Baltimore is 17%.

Mental Health Disorders Among Vulnerable Populations:
Certain populations in Baltimore may be more vulnerable to mental health disorders due to various factors, such as poverty, discrimination, and lack of access to resources. Here are some statistics about mental health disorders among vulnerable populations in Baltimore:

- In Baltimore, African Americans are two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder compared to white individuals.
- Among homeless individuals in Baltimore, the prevalence of severe mental illness (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression) is estimated to be 26.8%, while the overall prevalence of mental illness is 85%.
- LGBT+ youth in Baltimore are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts compared to their heterosexual counterparts.

Available Treatment Options:
Despite the high prevalence of mental health disorders in Baltimore, there are various treatment options available for individuals struggling with behavioral health. These options include therapy, medication, support groups, and other alternative treatments. Mental health services in Baltimore are provided by both public and private organizations.

The Baltimore City Health Department offers behavioral health services through the Healthy Start Program, which aims to support pregnant individuals and families with young children. The program provides screening, counseling, and case management services for individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.

The Baltimore County Department of Health also offers a variety of mental health services, including outpatient services, emergency intervention, and crisis response. They provide resources for individuals with mental health issues and their families, as well as training for professionals and community members on mental health topics.

In conclusion, mental health disorders are a prevalent issue in Baltimore, Maryland. However, it is essential to note that these disorders are treatable, and there are various resources available to support individuals and their families. If you or someone you know is struggling with behavioral health, do not hesitate to reach out for help and support. With the right treatment and support, individuals can lead fulfilling lives despite their mental health challenges.
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