An Overview of Mental Health in Delano, California
Delano is an agricultural community in Kern County, California. With an estimated population of 53,014 as of 2019, it is the second-largest city in the county apart from Bakersfield. Delano is located in the northern part of the county in an area known for growing table grapes, i.e., those intended for consumption while fresh rather than being turned into raisins or wine. Kern Valley State Prison and North Kern State Prison are both located in Delano as well.
People of Latino and Asian descent make up the majority of Delano’s population, 76.9%, and 12.2%, respectively. Over 5% of the population is Caucasian, while 4.2% is African American and 1.7% identify as two or more races. Delano is a relatively youthful city with a median resident age of 30.3 years, and male residents outnumber females by a wide margin, making up 57.1% of the population.
Approximately 6.7% of adults in Delano hold a bachelor’s degree or better. For the United States as a whole, the rate is approximately five times that at 31.5%. Just over half of Delano adults, 55.9%, have graduated from high school, compared with 87.7% for the entire country.
Factors Affecting Mental Health in Delano
The people of Delano face a number of challenges that may have a negative effect on mental health.
The median household income in Delano is $38,708, well below the figures for Kern County, California, and the United States. The poverty rate in Delano is approximately 24%, more than twice what it is in the United States as a whole. Food insecurity affects 13.4% of the population.
Latinos and Caucasians make up most of the population living in poverty in Delano, 46.7% and 44.2%, respectively. Poverty has a disparate impact on female residents of Delano, with girls and women ages six to 11, 18 to 24, and 25 to 34 being most vulnerable.
According to a 2018 study, low-income children and adults across California experience significantly higher rates of mental illness.
The crime rate in Delano is 22% higher than the national average and 11% higher than statewide in California. Despite a 9% year-over-year decrease in overall crime, Kern County still reported a moderately high rate of violent crime, 555 per 100,000 people, in 2018.
- Drug and Alcohol Use
Nearly one in five residents of Kern County engaged in heavy drinking in 2018, and 31.5% of all driving deaths involved alcohol. In 2016, California had a relatively low rate of opioid overdose deaths, only five per 100,000 people. However, this does not indicate that drug use is not a significant issue. On the contrary, a moderately high 8.45% of the statewide population aged 12 and over experience substance use disorder. It follows, therefore, that residents tend to use substances other than opioids. In Kern County, methamphetamine is a drug of particular concern from both a law enforcement and a public health standpoint.
Mental Health Status in Delano
In 2014, 21.4% of adults in Kern County needed help for issues related to alcohol, drugs, mental health, or emotional health, compared to 15.9% of adults across California. During the same time frame, 17.1% of Kern County adults experienced serious psychological distress within the preceding 12 months, compared to only 7.7% of adults statewide. Over 26% of adults in Kern County report receiving insufficient emotional or social support.
The suicide rate in a community can be a significant mental health indicator overall, yet Kern County statistics paint a somewhat confusing picture. The suicide death rate in Kern County is 13.2 per 100,000 people, greater than the statewide rate of 10.2. However, only 3.4% of adults in Kern County report seriously considering suicide, combined with 7.8% across California.
Challenges Involved in Finding a Mental Health Provider in Delano
Unfortunately, some of the same factors that can contribute to mental health problems in Delano can also be barriers to receiving help. Just over 11% of the city’s population of people under age 65 do not have health insurance. Statewide, an almost equivalent percentage of people had not seen a doctor during the previous 12-month period due to the cost.
Mental Health Resources in Delano
Despite the challenges, there are mental health resources in Delano available for those who need them urgently:
If you or a loved one are experiencing mental health issues, you are not alone. These resources are available 24/7, or you can always dial 911 in case of an emergency.