An Overview of Mental Health in Chico, California
Nicknamed the “City of Roses”, Chico, California is the most populated city in Butte County with approximately 93,293 residents according to the most recent census population estimates. It is located approximately 80 miles from Sacramento, the state’s capital. This city is home to the picturesque Bidwell Park, California State University, Chico, The Bidwell Historic Mansion, and even the world’s largest yo-yo. With warm, sunny days all year long and virtually no traffic, Chico is a great destination to live.
However, Chico is by no means impervious to mental health problems. With issues like homelessness, poverty, substance abuse, and increased suicide rates, the city has a large number of residents suffering from mental illnesses. From college students to those living on the street, individuals living in Chico are in need of mental health care and resources.
Mental Health Statistics for Chico
The mental health data for Chico, California indicates that mental illness is a prevalent issue for the community. For individuals who received care at the Butte County Department of Behavioral Health in 2014, the most diagnosed mental health disorder for both adults and youths under the age of 18 was various types of mood disorders, such as depression. The second most diagnosed disorder among adults was substance abuse.
There is in an increased risk of mental illness and suicide amongst the following populations:
- Individuals identifying as LGBT+
- People with a family history of suicide
- College students
- The homeless
- Those previously incarcerated
Perhaps, the most concerning of these statistics is that Butte County has a suicide rate that is three times the state’s average. The suicide rate amongst men in the community is significantly higher than women, but more women are more likely to attempt suicide. One factor that contributes to high suicide rates in Chico is that the overall median age in Chico is 29.8 years old, which is relatively young compared to a state median age of 36.4 and a country median age of 37.3 years old. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students and individuals between the ages of 10 and 34. Unfortunately, there have been several reported suicide deaths of students attending California State, University, Chico.
Poverty and homelessness also pose a severe, growing problem for Chico with approximately 1,096 individuals living in the city without a home according to the “Point-In-Time” survey. Additionally, a reported 25.2 percent of residents are considered to be living in poverty, which is more than double the national average. Evidence shows that poverty has a huge impact on the mental health of both children and adults. Mental illnesses disrupt a person’s ability to live a normal life and make personal care, holding a job, and maintaining relationships exceedingly difficult, which can eventually lead to homelessness.
Mental Health Resources and Programs in Chico
Statistically, although over 44 million American adults have a mental health disorder, 56.4% of those individuals are not receiving treatment. The rate is even higher in California with an estimated 62.35 percent of mentally ill people not getting treatment. Although the Affordable Care Act has helped reduce the number of uninsured adults throughout the country, people are still not receiving the care they need. There are a number of factors that contribute to these numbers including a negative stigma surrounding mental illness, a lack of money, and a lack of education on where to locate resources that can help. Luckily, in Chico, California there are several programs in place and other resources to assist people with mental illness.
You can find a variety of mental health centers, counseling services, and other resources geared toward specific at-risk populations and the general public in Chico. There are several groups that specifically address the needs of children and teenagers suffering from mental illness, such as the Youth Outpatient Center. The Chico VA Outpatient Clinic supplies Veterans with the help they need, and the SEARCH program reaches out to the homeless community. California State University, Chico has taken several steps in addressing mental health issues among the student population. Apart from offering counseling services on campus, the university’s UMatter team is dedicated to advocating mental health awareness, promoting self-care, and guiding students to resources that can help them.
Find a Therapist in Chico
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