This article will provide some background about mental health help in Birmingham, Alabama, and offer LGBTQ+ and mental health facts and resources.
According to The National Alliance on mental illness, since 2021, 1 in 5 people in the United States report experiencing mental illness each year.
The report also reveals nearly 800,000 adults in Alabama alone have mental health conditions. Unfortunately, more than half did not undergo treatment because of a lack of access to care and not having insurance.
At LGBTQ AND ALL, we want to ensure that our audience has no barriers to care. That’s why we created our Mental Health resources database. If you are looking for mental health assistance in Birmingham, our database at LGBTQ AND ALL has suggestions for therapists and clinics in the area.
Now, let’s learn more about the wonderful city of Birmingham, Alabama, and what resources are available for locals or anyone moving to the area.
What are Some of Birmingham’s Top Features?
Birmingham is most famously known as the founding city that recognized Veterans Day. It hosts the country’s oldest and biggest Veterans Day celebration. In addition, it is the only place in the world featuring coal, iron ore, and limestone together within a ten-mile radius.
As a destination that draws visitors from all over the world for its historical events, Birmingham has a history of being known as Ground Zero for the American Civil Rights Movement. Avid golfers also come to play Birmingham’s courses on the renowned Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
Many people venture to Birmingham for its world-class barbecue and international dishes. It is even referred to as the “Dinner Table of the South.” To top it all off, Birmingham has an energetic music scene, with performances in clubs and music venues all over the city.
Facts About Birmingham
Birmingham is located in the north-central region of Alabama in the United States and is the seat of Jefferson County. It is also Alabama’s most populous and fifth-largest county. Since 2018, the Birmingham-Hoover metropolitan area has had a population of 1,151,801 (the most populous in Alabama and 49th-most populous in the U.S.). Birmingham is an important regional hub associated with the Deep South, Piedmont, and Appalachian regions.
A Brief History of Birmingham
The Elyton Land Company founded Birmingham on June 1, 1871. Birmingham’s investors were cotton planters, bankers, and railroad entrepreneurs. Lots were sold near the Alabama and Chattanooga and South & North Alabama railroad crossing, which includes a portion of the Benjamin P. Worthington Plantation.
Marre & Allen ran the first business opening at that crossroads: a trading post and country store. The railroad crossing location was known for iron ore, coal, and limestone deposits, which were integral for making steel.
What is LGBTQ+ Life Like in Birmingham?
Some may think that since Birmingham is part of the Deep South, this city may not be the most inclusive or tolerant place. However, Birmingham is actually a welcoming and accepting city with many successful and lively LGBTQ+ events.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation even gave Birmingham a 100% score for its Municipal Equality Index. This index assesses LGBTQ+ quality in 506 cities across the country. The city of Birmingham prides itself on its perfect score and believes that it reflects its commitment to supporting and accepting all LGBTQ+ identities.
Some LGBTQ+ Events and Entertainment
The Sidewalk Film Festival
For the past 22 years, Birmingham has hosted the Sidewalk Film Festival. This festival shows independent and arthouse films during August (located in the city’s historic Theatre District). Since 2006, the SHOUT Film Festival has been a big attraction of the event. SHOUT has features, documentaries, and short films about the various LGBTQ+ communities. This festival is Alabama’s first queer film showcase and supports Birmingham’s LGBTQ+ community by advocating for rights, awareness, and acceptance.
Birmingham also hosts Alabama’s oldest LGBTQ+ pride festival and parade (sponsored by Central Alabama Pride). Central Alabama Pride has been running for 42 years and held its first pride festival in 1980 with 250 attendees. Presently, thousands of people across the Southeast come to Birmingham for June Pride events.
Other LGBTQ+ events in Birmingham include the Mystic Krewe of Apollo-Birmingham (founded in 1976). This first Bal Masque took place during the 1977 carnival season and takes place every February.
There is also the New South Softball League, which was founded during the Southern Shootout Tournament. This tournament is one of the top LGBTQ+ softball tournaments in the South. This tournament has become the longest consecutively running LGBTQ+ softball tournament throughout all of North America throughout the years. Dozens of teams from all over the Southeast join every year to compete at Birmingham’s George Ward Park.
Another popular event is the annual Arty Party, which Birmingham AIDS Outreach puts on. During this party, hundreds of art pieces, mainly from local artists, are auctioned. In addition, hundreds of attendees will bid on silent and live auctions for various types of art. Proceeds from this event go to Birmingham AIDS Outreach, the Magic City Wellness Center, and the Magic City Acceptance Center.
Regarding LGBTQ+ nightlife, Birmingham has various choices for LGBTQ+ bars and nightclubs. There’s no doubt that nights out in Birmingham are an inclusive experience and entertaining for the queer community.
A Background About Mental Health Help in Birmingham
Mental health and substance abuse are Alabama’s second most significant current health concerns. Luckily, there is comprehensive data on suicide and substance abuse mortality from death certificates collected by the ADPH’s Center for Health Statistics. Also, BRFSS has compiled data on depression at the PHA level. However, even though there is some data to navigate, these numbers are not entirely complete or comprehensive enough. In addition, ADPH only has specific claims data that do not encompass the entire population.
Mental health issues and substance abuse are significant problems all over Alabama. For example, the state government spends the bulk of its budget on corrections incarcerating people with substance abuse issues. In addition, Alabama has a significant shortage of mental health providers and resources, especially in rural areas.
In recent years, suicide and drug-related mortality rates have continued to climb. Suicide ranked as the eleventh leading cause of death in Alabama in 2013. Poor mental health affects the lives of thousands of Alabama residents, and many of these conditions go undiagnosed and/or untreated due to a shortage of providers. In addition, thousands of Alabama residents are in prison due to substance abuse. Mental health problems affect people from all walks of life and can be detrimental to society as a whole.
At LGBTQ and All, we know that finding mental health help in Birmingham can be challenging. That’s why we offer an extensive list of resources to help you find the care you are looking for or a child seeking psychological care. So be sure to browse through our listings to discover some tools and resources that would be a good match for your situation.