Coweta behind state average in mental health resources

by Bradley Hartsell

Editor’s note: This is part of a special focus this week on depression and suicide in Coweta County, in the wake of the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams. A related story on today’s Health page looks at how local mental health treatment provider Pathways helps those dealing with depression.

Coweta County is behind the state average for mental health resources, according to a recent community health needs assessment by Piedmont Healthcare.

In addition, Coweta County statistics on suicide show a reverse from a national trend, with local women more often committing suicide than men.

In 2013, Coweta County, according to the community health needs assessment, had only one mental health provider for every 18,727 county residents. In contrast, Georgia overall averaged one provider for every 3,504 residents. In the same study, local residents also reported 3.7 days per month of poor mental health, while residents of the state reported 3.4 poor mental health days per month.

Coweta County falls behind Georgia more than five times the state average in providing mental health care facilities. Craig Dunn of Coweta County Pathways Center, one of the local providers, says his facility in downtown Newnan sees more women than men.

In the most recent data on suicides for Coweta County provided by Coweta County Health Department Nurse Manager Dana Scales, 2011 figures showed 39 self-inflicted deaths by women and 10 for men. Local suicides by women are nearly four times as many as those for men, which contradicts a national trend, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control, with men three times more likely to commit suicide than women.

According to the CDC, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

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