An Overview of Mental Health in DeSoto, Texas
Along with Duncanville, Lancaster, and Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Texas, is one of the four suburbs of Dallas that make up the Best Southwest area. Its current population is estimated at 53,525, which represents growth of approximately 9% compared to 49,043 in the 2010 census.
DeSoto is one of the oldest communities in North Texas, having been first settled in 1847. It was named after a dedicated doctor in the original settlement named Thomas Hernando DeSoto Stewart.
A majority of DeSoto residents, 68.3%, identify as African American. Latinos represent the second most populous ethnic group at 17.5%, followed by Caucasians at 12.4%. Females slightly outnumber males at 53.8%, and the median age of DeSoto residents is 39.8, about five years more than the median for Texas.
Economics and Education in DeSoto
DeSoto is a fairly wealthy city. At approximately 11%, the poverty rate is on par with that for the entire country. The median household income of $64,575 exceeds that of the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the country as a whole. However, there are racial and ethnic disparities. African Americans are the largest ethnicity to live in poverty by a large margin, nearly twice that of Caucasians, which are the second-largest minority to live in poverty.
When it comes to education, 28.1% of the population holds at least a bachelor’s degree, while 89.8% have a high school diploma. These statistics are nearly equivalent with the national figures.
Divorce in DeSoto
A split from one’s spouse can represent a significant stressor that can negatively affect one’s mental health. The divorce rate in Dallas County is among the highest in the state. For every 1,000 county residents, there are anywhere from 4.4 divorces to 5.7 on a yearly basis. Though there are not city-specific divorce data for DeSoto, the percentage of southwest Dallas County adults who are either divorced or separated is very high at 13.97%.
Additional Factors Affecting Mental Health in DeSoto
The biggest factors that may affect mental health in DeSoto are probably those related to health and safety.
The crime rate in DeSoto is 12% higher than the U.S. average and 3% higher than the statewide average for Texas. There is a rate of 3,085 total crimes committed for every 100,000 people in Texas, approximately 400 of which are violent crimes.
Though the rate of motor vehicle crashes in Dallas County is fairly low, there is a moderately high number of driving deaths specifically due to alcohol impairment, approximately 34%.
Sexually transmitted infections are prevalent in Dallas County. In 2018, there were 649 infections per 100,000 people. On a yearly basis, there are a moderate number of new HIV diagnoses made; 798 per 100,000 in 2018. These statistics have held fairly steady over a five-year period.
Despite a high median income and low poverty rate, some people in DeSoto struggle financially. In 2018, a moderately high 18.2% of the population of Dallas County experienced food insecurity, although there was no community-level information available. Therefore, the actual prevalence in DeSoto proper may have been lower.
Access to Mental Health Services in DeSoto
At the state level, the number of people with mental illness receiving treatment is a moderately low 38.4%. Cost may be a factor, as 17.9% of adults in Texas hadn’t seen any doctor in the preceding year in 2016 due to cost. However, it may also be that there is a relative shortage of mental health providers in the area. For every one mental health provider in Texas, there are approximately 1,012 potential patients. It is worth nothing that this has improved since 2013 from a ratio of 1,797 to one.
Following reports of serious lapses in patient care, the federal government made a systems improvement agreement with Dallas Behavioral Healthcare Hospital in DeSoto. The agreement gives the government oversight over the facility with a team of independent consultants working to bring the facility back into compliance. In return, the hospital gets to keep its Medicare funding.
Available Mental Health Resources in DeSoto
If you need to access mental health services in an urgent manner, the following resources are available to you:
There are also additional resources available in the larger Dallas-Fort Worth area. Keep looking until you find the help you need.