An Overview of Mental Health in Carson City, Nevada
Carson City, Nevada — the state’s capital — is home to 55,414 residents. The median age of those residents is 43. Due to its year-round mild temperatures, convenient amenities and affordable cost of living, Carson City is a popular destination for retirees. The community offers a dense suburban feel and is characterized by home (most owner-occupied), restaurants, bars and parks.
The Carson City Economy
Carson City is in Northern Nevada, right along the Eastern Border of California. It is a short distance from Reno, which is a popular gambling hub. While the Las Vegas and Reno economies are largely dependent upon the gambling and hospitality industries, however, Carson City’s economy centers around public administration, retail trade and manufacturing.
The median household income in Carson City is $52,034. This figure is slightly lower than the state median of $57,598, and less than the national median of $60,293. However, the per capita income is on par with the state’s figure, at $29,767. The percentage of people living in poverty is 13.7%. This rate is slightly higher than the state and national rates.
Though Carson City residents earn less than state residents, they are not privy to a lower cost of living. The median value of owner-occupied homes in the community is $242,200, which is only $200 less than the state median. It is also $40,000 higher than the national median. Monthly homeowner expenses average out to about $1,400. Median rent is extremely high, at between $1,200 and $2,500, with landlords asking that residents make two to three times that per month to qualify.
Mental Health Concerns in Carson City
A Carson City health needs assessment took data from the Division of Public and Behavioral Health to determine the mental health needs of residents throughout the community. What it found that in a four-year period, 2,958 residents took advantage of behavioral health services from DPBH. However, as multiple people used multiple services, the overall total number of services rendered was 13,981.
Other than “general,” the most common diagnosis made by the department was for PTSD. Nearly 5,000 residents are military veterans, which may have something to do with the frequency of this diagnosis. However, first responders, car accident victims, victims of crime, etc., can all account for 6.7% of residents who live with the disorder.
The third-most common diagnosis was for “mood disorders,” at 5.7%. Following that was “major depressive disorder,” “depressive disorder” and “alcohol dependence.” Anxiety, major depressive disorder without psychotic episodes, bipolar disorder, polysubstance dependence and amphetamine dependence all account for a collective 12% of diagnoses.
Factors That May Contribute to Mental Illness
Several factors may contribute to mental illness, many of which are genetic. However, among environmental factors, it is possible that Carson City residents are most disturbed by the high cost of living. The community received a cost of living index rating of 109.8, which is 9.8 points above the national average. However, residents earn about $8,000 less than national residents.
According to the living wage calculator, Carson City residents would need to make a minimum of $23 per hour, 40 hours a week, to be able to comfortably support a household with two adults, one and two children. This type of financial pressure can cause stress, anxiety and depression, among other conditions.
Of course, the cost of living is not the only factor that may negatively impact the mental health of residents. Excessive drinking, substance abuse, poverty and divorce — factors that are all highly prevalent in Carson City — may also contribute to mental illness in the area.
Mental Health Resources
When it comes to mental health access and services, Nevada ranked dead last of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In 2018, the largest mental health provider in Reno closed its doors due to lack of funding. The mental health crisis is real and urgent in Carson City and throughout the state, and though the state is working on a fix, residents need resources now. If you or a loved one is in crisis and don’t know where to turn, know that the following services are available:
Ongoing treatment and support are necessary to achieve long-term health. Use the guide to find compassionate counseling today.