An Overview of Mental Health in Baytown, Texas
Baytown is a quaint little town right outside the larger city of Houston. As its name indicates, it sits on the bay, which means picturesque views of the gulf coast. Because of its proximity to Houston, the little township is actually not so little. It boasts a population of 75,310, with the average age being 32.5.
Baytown’s economy isn’t terrible but compared to other Texas cities and the nation as a whole, it’s not great either. Depending on which source you refer to, the average household income in this town is between $49,930 and $56,892, which is around $6,000 less than or on par with the median household income in all of Texas and the U.S. The average home value in Baytown is $96,100, which is substantially lower than the state’s average home value of $191,000. The poverty rate in Baytown is 16.4 percent, which is slightly higher than the nation’s 12.3 percent.
Baytown’s makeup is fairly diverse. According to the data, there are more Hispanic residents in the city of Baytown than there are white, but only marginally more. The Hispanic population makes up 45.5 percent of the populations whereas whites make up about 35 percent. 14.8 percent of the town’s residents are black. 86.7 percent are U.S. citizens, but nearly 40 percent—39.8 percent—speak a non-English language.
In addition to having a diverse population, Baytown is also diverse in terms of the industries to which it caters. The economy is predominantly fueled by mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction, construction and transportation and warehousing. The oil and gas extraction industries are particularly huge, considering that the bay is known for its excess natural resources.
Though each individual factor may not seem notable by itself, when you look at the bigger picture, it can be easy to see why Baytown’s mental health status suffers. Below is a brief overview of the state of mental health in Baytown and possible contributing factors.
Mental Health Issues in Baytown
As a suburb of such a major city as Houston, it makes sense that Baytown would experience some of the same issues that Houston experiences. Those issues often cause mental health imbalances, which perpetuate more problems. Some factors that may play a huge role in the declining state of mental health in Baytown and Harris County as a hole include the following:
- HIV Diagnoses: The number of HIV diagnoses in Harris County are extraordinarily high, at 640.5 diagnoses per every 100,000 individuals. A HIV diagnosis can lead to depression, fear, anxiety and even suicide. If it doesn’t lead to suicide, it might lead to heavy drug or alcohol use, which triggers even more issues.
- Chlamydia Diagnoses: The number of chlamydia diagnoses in Harris County are only slightly less shocking. The county reported 517.5 diagnoses of this nature per 100,000 individuals in 2014. Again, an STD can cause depression, fear, anxiety, social isolation and countless other issues.
- Obesity: The obesity prevalence rate in this part of Texas is high even for Texas, which has an elevated rate as is. According to a 2013 survey, nearly one-third of all Harris County residents were obese. Obesity can lead to shame, embarrassment, social isolation and depression.
- Excessive Drinking: 2 percent of Harris Country residents on the Baytown side of the bay admit to drinking in excess. Excessive drinking causes obesity, depression, anxiety and a host of other mental health conditions.
- Drinking and Driving Deaths: 1 percent of driving deaths involve alcohol in Harris County. This number is outstanding and may contribute to the county’s overall poor mental health status.
- Violent Crime and Homicide: The homicide and violent crime rates in Harris County are some of the highest in all of Texas, at 8.8 and 713.7 per 100,000 people respectively. These high crime rates may contribute to an overall feeling of fear and anxiety at all times.
- Oil and Gas Industry: Something about working in the oil and gas industry drives heavy drug use. Crystal meth is especially prevalent in the Houston and Baytown area.
Baytown’s Mental Health Crisis Is Only Worsening
With the number of mental health concerns Harris Town residents demonstrate, identifying all possible risk factors is a complex and extensive task. Fortunately, the city of Houston and Harris County as a hold is taking measures to combat the issues and reverse the despairing trends. You can do your part by seeking therapy when you need it. You can find a compassionate therapist who will listen without judgement by using E-Counseling’s directory.