An Overview of Mental Health in Cathedral City, California
Located in Coachella Valley between Palm Springs and Rancho Morongo, Cathedral City — locally known as “Cat City” — has the second largest population of the desert cities, with 54,902 residents. Strategically situated equidistant from San Diego and Los Angeles and along the Interstate 10, Cathedral City prides itself on its ability to provide a strong business climate and, therefore, a quality lifestyle, to residents now and long into the future. The community, like its neighbors, offers the very essence of a California lifestyle—lush country clubs, diverse shopping, friendly boutiques and businesses, and unlimited potential.
The Cathedral City Economy
Cathedral City’s vision may be inspiring, but the reality of its economy is slightly different. It’s true that the top two industries in the area — accommodation and food services and retail trade — do cater to a materialistic lifestyle, but compared to the tri-city area, San Bernardino County, the United States, and California, Cathedral City residents make a low annual income.
The median household income of city residents is $42,384. The median household income of country residents is $60,807; of state residents is $67,169, and of national residents is $57,652. The per capita income is $25,744, which is nearly $10,000 less than the state’s per capita income and about $8,000 less than the national median. The poverty rate in Cathedral City is 20.7%. 32% of individuals younger than 18 and 17% of adults live 100% below the federal poverty line.
Cost of Living in Cathedral City
In many economies, a median household income of $42,384 would be sufficient to support a family. Unfortunately, Cathedral City is not one of those economies. The community received a cost of living index rating of 115.8. That rating does not take into consideration property taxes, homeowner costs or child care costs (and children younger than 18 account for 25% of the population).
The housing index rating is 129. The median property value is $298,300. On average, property taxes are more than $3,000 each year. Likely because of the high cost of living, just 60.2% of housing units are owner-occupied.
Cathedral City Demographics
Cathedral City’s population is made up mostly of Whites and Hispanics/Latinos. 59.6% of the population identifies as Hispanic/Latino, while 30.4% identify as White alone. Maybe because of its proximity to Desert Palms military base, Cathedral City has a higher veteran population than the majority of California. 14% of the residents are veterans.
The education level of residents is lower than that of state and national residents. Just 77.3% of adults over 25 years of age have a high school diploma, compared with 82.9% of state residents and 87.7% of national residents. 19.8% of adults over 25 have a higher education, 33.3% and 31.5% of state and national residents, respectively.
Behavioral and Mental Health Concerns
A harsh desert climate, poverty, high cost of living and cultural differences are all factors that commonly affect persons’ mental health. A Cathedral City assessment reveals that this may be the case for much of the community. In fact, the assessment reveals many pressing behavioral and mental health issues, the priority of which include the following:
- Substance abuse
- Stress and anxiety
- Self-harm/suicide ideations
- Grief, loss, and isolation
- Abuse, trauma, and neglect
- Anger management
The last issue on the list greatly affects Cathedral City’s youth. Per the assessment’s findings, 31% of teens aged 17 and 18 said they felt hopeless or sad within the past 30 days. 14% admitted to having thoughts of suicide. Another 14% said they drank alcohol or used drugs within the past 30 days.
Mental Health Crisis Resources
The majority of Coachella Valley has a shortage of mental health providers and psychiatric beds. For this reason, it is imperative that residents know where they can turn when they experience an emotional crisis. Below are immediately available and easily accessible resources:
- The Morongo Basin Crisis Walk-In Center: Crisis stabilization services available 24/7 at 7293 Dumosa Ave., Suite 2, Yucca Valley, CA 92284, 760-365-2233
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 24/7 support for those in distress, 800-273-TALK (8255)
- The Betty Ford Center: Addiction treatment for all ages and families, regardless of income, 866-261-3734
- Riverside University Health System 24/7 Mental Health Urgent Care: 24/7/365 mental health screenings, services and medications, 442-268-7000
- Cathedral City Police Department: Responsive and integral service, regardless of the crisis, 760-770-0300
- For ongoing and compassionate treatment, find a qualified therapist online.