Mental Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Located in Middlesex County, Cambridge, Massachusetts is perhaps most well-known as being home to Harvard University. Cambridge is also where the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is located. These are two of the world’s most prestigious universities. Cambridge is considered part of the Boston metropolitan area, and it’s directly north of the city. Cambridge is located across the Charles River, and its name comes from the University of Cambridge in England.
Kendall Square, which is located in Cambridge, is often described as one of the most innovative areas of the world. This is an area where there’s a high concentration of startups and innovation.
Along with Kendall Square, the city is also referred to as the City of Squares, and some of the most popular of these include Central Square, Harvard Square, and Porter Square. Specific neighborhoods in the area include East Cambridge, the area surrounding the MIT Campus, and the Brattle area/West Cambridge, among others.
The population of Middlesex County as a whole is around 1.6 million, and the median household income is $95,249, and the median property value is $477,500. The economy of Middlesex County centers primarily around scientific, tech and educational industries.
Mental Health Concerns in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Substance abuse is a significant concern in not only Cambridge but surrounding Middlesex County, also including the city of Lowell. Middlesex County is ranked ninth in terms of the number of overdose deaths per 100,000 residents among 44 counties in the United States. In 2016, Pew Charitable Trusts reported there was a death rate of 24.3 per 100,000 residents. The median for the 44 highest-ranking counties is 13 deaths per 100,000 individuals. In 2016, Middlesex County saw nearly 2,580 deaths related to drug overdoses. The state of Massachusetts as a whole had 13,870 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016.
The Middlesex Sherriff’s Office has been working on efforts and initiatives to deal with problems related to opioids and substance use disorders along with co-occurring mental illnesses. In 2016, the Middlesex Sherriff’s Office started implementing a regional approach that brings together sheriffs and chiefs of police from throughout the county to work collaboratively on addressing these issues.
According to research compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in the state of Massachusetts around 54,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 reported having at least one major depressive episode between 2013 and 2014. Of surveyed adults in the state aged 18 or older, four percent said they’d had serious thoughts of suicide within the year before they were surveyed.
The same research shows an estimated 522,000 adults in the state with a major mental illness received counseling or treatment, but 53.8 percent did not receive mental health treatment or counseling.
Cambridge Mental Health Services
There are public and private mental health services available to residents of Cambridge and surrounding Middlesex County. One example is the CHA Cambridge Health Alliance. The CHA Department of Psychiatry offers mental health services for all ages, and in different languages. Some of the areas of evaluation and service available from CHA include treatment for psychological problems, emotional or behavioral disorders, and addiction treatment.
The CHA Cambridge Hospital campus offers psychiatric emergency services, and psychiatrists and clinical social workers are on-duty throughout the day.
There is an organization called Riverside Community Care, which provides health and human services not only to people in Cambridge but also Somerville and other communities throughout the state. The organization offers child and family services, adult services, and community-based services.
North Charles is a provider of psychiatric services as well as addiction services counseling. They offer psychiatric care on an outpatient basis.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) operates a Massachusetts branch, and they regularly publish resources in the area to help guide people searching for care.