An Overview of Mental Health in Boynton Beach, Florida
Boynton Beach is a town in southern Florida, part of the Miami metropolitan area. It is located within Palm Beach County. As of 2016, the estimated population was 75,569. Just over half the population of Boynton Beach identify as white at 50.9 percent. The next most prevalent ethnicity in Boynton Beach is black/African American at 29.7 percent, while people who identify as Hispanic round out the top three at 15.3 percent. Economically, the city is approximately on par with, or perhaps slightly more prosperous than, the rest of the state; in 2016, its estimated median household income was $53,188 compared with $50,860 for the state as a whole and its estimated home value was $206,100 in 2016 compared with 197,700 statewide.
The Challenge of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Boynton Beach
Individuals without health insurance residing in Palm Beach County in 2014 represented 19.2 percent of the population. It is unclear how the Affordable Care Act, which went into effect that year, influenced that figure. There are numerous areas of overall health professional shortages throughout Palm Beach County; when looking specifically at mental health resources, there are four health professional shortage areas overall. A health professional shortage area is a facility-, geographic- or population-based shortage of health care providers and may lead to a lack of access to or availability of resources and result in populations that are medically underserved. Eight populations are designated as such in Palm Beach County.
An Overview of Mental Health in Boynton Beach
A report on health and human services by the Palm Beach County government in 2010 used the suicide rate as the key indicator of mental health. At that time, the suicide rate for Florida was 14.5 deaths per 100,000 individuals; the average for Palm Beach County was higher at 15.75 deaths per 100,000 residents. The total number of suicide deaths for Palm Beach County in 2009 was 189, or approximately three suicides per week for the entire year. It is also important to remember that suicide rates are usually calculated on the basis of coroner’s data and thus do not include attempted suicides.
In 2013, 13.8 percent of adults in Palm Beach County had been told at some point that they had a depressive disorder and 11.4 percent were prevented from performing usual activities for more than 14 of the previous 30 days due to poor mental or physical health, which was actually a considerable decrease from studies conducted previously in 2010 and 2007.
Factors Affecting Mental Health in Boynton Beach
A number of factors may have an effect on an individual’s mental health. Here are some factors that are of particular concern in Boynton Beach and Palm Beach County as a whole:
- Military Service: Veterans returning from active duty often struggle with mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2010, out of all the counties in the state of Florida, Palm Beach County had the second-highest number of returning veterans.
- Crime: The rate of violent crime in Boynton Beach was higher in 2016 than the national average. The middle of the last decade saw a surge in gang activity, with at least 10 active gangs operating in Boynton Beach in 2006 and 2007. By 2009, thanks in part to tougher laws, gang violence in Palm Beach County was on the decline.
- Alcohol Use: Seventeen percent of Palm Beach County adults surveyed in 2013 reported heavy or binge drinking, only slightly lower than the statewide percentage of 17.6 percent. The statistics are even more alarming for adolescents; 38 percent of high schoolers and 11.9 percent of middle schoolers reported using alcohol during the preceding month in 2012, while 18.1 percent of high schoolers and 4.2 percent of middle schoolers reported binge drinking during the same time frame. The percentages of high school students in Palm Beach County using alcohol were higher than the statewide averages.
- Divorce: In 2013, the divorce rate in Florida was one of the highest in the nation. Nearly half of the top 10 cities in the U.S. with the highest number of divorces were located in Florida.
Mental Health Resources in Boynton Beach
There are two prominent mental health organizations in Boynton Beach that provide guidance to those looking for mental health treatment:
- Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County
- West Palm Beach Mental Health Coalition
Another resource available to you to help you find a counselor or therapist is the therapist directory on E-Counseling.com.