Guide to Finding Mental Health Professionals
The fetching coastal city of Chula Vista is one of Southern California’s largest. In fact, Chula Vista is the second largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area. The temperate town is known for its dense, ever-growing population. As of 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Chula Vista’s population stands at 270,471 residents and is increasing at a rapid rate. Beautiful sea-side properties, conveniently located neighborhoods, and accessible shopping areas all make the city of Chula Vista very appealing to prospective transplants looking at the area.
However, the area still has its share of problems. Experts have dubbed the situation in Chula Vista a “mental health crisis.” How did the status quo regarding mental health get to such a poor standing? The issue is more complex than a look at the surface might indicate. Factors such as high rates of divorce, homelessness, and poverty all actively contribute to the poor state of mental health in the city and the state of California as a whole. Let’s take a detailed look at why mental illness among Chula Vista residents is so prevalent compared to the rest of the nation, and how to seek out and get in contact with a therapist that can help you if you are in need.
An Overview of Mental Health in Chula Vista, California
Mental illness, in this context, can refer to a bevy of mental health problems. These include disorders that range from schizophrenia to obsessive-compulsive disorder. As mentioned previously, the issue of high rates of mental illness is not contained to the Chula Vista area, but California in its entirety. As of 2017, the state of California was ranked in the top 50 percent of states regarding the prevalence of mental illness; significantly higher than the national average. So, what are the primary causes behind this troubling statistic?
There is an unfortunate link between divorce and mental health. All parties involved in spousal separation, including children, are far more vulnerable to mental illness compared to those who did not deal with divorce, according to a multinational psychiatric study published in 2011. Chula Vista is part of San Diego County, an area with a notoriously high rate of divorce. The rate of divorce in the state of California is ten percent higher than the national average, coming in at 60 percent. This makes the rate of spousal separation in the city of Chula Vista one of the highest in the nation. The impact of the increasing divorce rate is profound. Many families are experiencing economic turmoil because of divorce. A county-wide study found that 22 percent of divorced women are living below the poverty level.
Undoubtedly, this alarming statistic is responsible for inflating the rate of mental illness in Chula Vista. If you feel your relationship with your significant other is in jeopardy, it’s heavily recommended to attend counseling before making any permanent decisions. The best combatant to divorce is avoidance; take the future of both your children’s and partner’s mental health into account before separation.
Another demographic that is exceedingly vulnerable to mental illness is homeless individuals. As per a study commissioned by the National Coalition for the Homeless, approximately 25 percent of the homeless population in the U.S. suffer from a severe mental illness. To compare, the national average is roughly six percent. For homeless people, accessibility to required care is extremely limited. This lack of care only serves to exacerbate both problems, causing chronic homelessness. According to that same study, mental illness was one of the three primary causes of homelessness.
In Chula Vista, the rate of homeless individuals has slowly decreased over the past few years, however, the national statistic is still holding steady. The city is implementing measures that are meant to address the homeless crisis in the area, but no significant changes have been made.
Low-income residents of Chula Vista are also at risk of being diagnosed with a mental illness. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median income per capita in Chula Vista is only $25,750. That’s around $4,000 less than the national average, despite 36 percent higher cost of living. Additionally, the cost of housing in Chula Vista is 95 percent higher than the national average, making it hard for those earning low wages to find a place to live.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Chula Vista, California
There are significant barriers to finding a mental health professional in Chula Vista. Low-income individuals are far more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness. However, they are also less likely to receive the necessary treatment. The lack of care is often blamed on three things: stigma, poverty, and absence of insurance.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of persons without health insurance under the age of 65 is 13.2 percent. For reference, the national average is only 8.8 percent. Without insurance, people must find other ways to pay for treatment, likely coming out of their own pockets. However, for low-income earners, this option simply is not feasible. The result is a distinct lack of care.
For many, the stigma of seeing a therapist is enough to dissuade them from seeking out care. Unfortunately, some people wrongly perceive those with mental illnesses as being weak. The stigma coupled with the often-complicated search for a therapist can limit the care one receives. It’s important to recognize the falsity of the stigma, as well as come up with a set of reasonable goals you wish to achieve through your time in counseling.
Mental Health Resources in Chula Vista, California
Thankfully, there are several renowned psychiatric institutions in Chula Vista that offer a variety of services to those suffering from mental illness. The Bayview Behavioral Health Hospital, for example, specializes in treating those individuals. Additionally, hospitals such as the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center regularly services Chula Vista residents with mental issues.
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