An Overview of Mental Health in Doral, Florida
Mental illness is a modern health crisis facing communities across the United States. From high prevalence of mental illness to shortages of mental health professionals, there are a number of factors contributing to this crisis. Doral, Florida, is just one community trying to cope with these problems.
Doral at a Glance
Located in Miami-Dade County, Doral is a suburb of approximately 61,000 residents. The economy specializes in such sectors as transportation, wholesale trade and real estate. The median income in 2017 was $76,184 while the per capita income was $28,711. Unemployment was at 5.1 percent and 12.8 percent of the population was living in poverty.
In 2017, over 80 percent of Doral’s population was of Latino or Hispanic descent. Unsurprisingly, there is also a large percentage of Spanish-speaking residents, with only 7.57 percent of residents speaking solely English; 92.4 percent of residents speak a language other than English at home, predominantly Spanish.
Mental Health in Doral
The Health Council of South Florida released a community health needs assessment report for Miami-Dade County in 2013, identifying just a few mental health statistics in the area.
- 6 percent of adults reported that their overall mental health was “poor” or “fair,” which was just slightly higher than the national average.
- Although 31.7 percent of adults reported chronic symptoms of depression, only 9.8 percent had been diagnosed with clinical depression by a healthcare professional.
- Among parents of children aged 5-17, 5.3 percent reported their child’s mental health as being “poor” or “fair,” which was lower than the national average.
However, these numbers were higher among specific demographics.
- Among the Hispanic population, a higher percentage of adults (14.8) reported “poor” or “fair” mental health. 34.7 percent reported chronic depression symptoms, while 11.8 percent had been diagnosed with major depression. 5.8 percent of Hispanic parents reported that their child suffered from poor mental health, only slightly higher than the overall population.
- The numbers were even higher among those with a “very low income.” 29.5 percent of these adults reported “poor” or “fair” mental health. Over half (53.5 percent) reported symptoms of chronic depression, and 23.5 percent had been diagnosed with major depression. 8.4 percent of parents living in poverty reported having a child with poor mental health.
- Adult women, adults over 40, blacks and teens also saw higher numbers in poor mental health and symptoms of depression.
Drug abuse is a significant aspect of mental health, and South Florida has been plagued with drug problems since the 1970s. Florida’s location with a reach into the Caribbean makes it a prime area for the trafficking of drugs from Central and South America. Because of this, it isn’t exactly rare for Floridians to be exposed to some of the most dangerous and addictive drugs around. Cocaine, heroin, meth and fentanyl are just a few of the substances that are readily available in much of the state.
According to the CDC, Florida saw a rate of 25.1 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people in 2017. That adds up to a total of 5,088 deaths. Although Florida was not even in the top 10 states with the highest overdose death rates, its total number of deaths was comparable to those of Ohio and Pennsylvania, two of the top three in overdose death rates.
The CDC’s most recent data available by county was from the years 2014 to 2016. During that time, the drug overdose death rate in Miami-Dade County was 8 per 100,000, with a total number of 643 deaths. Although the county versus state data is off by one year, it would appear that Doral and the Miami area are actually doing much better than the rest of the state in terms of overdose deaths.
Resources in Doral
Dealing with mental illness or substance abuse problems can sometimes feel impossible, but luckily, there are many resources available in Doral and the surrounding area.
- South Florida Behavioral Health Network is “a nonprofit, managing entity” that provides resources for mental health care patients and providers.
- Multicultural Care Centers is a behavioral health organization with a focus on a culturally-sensitive approach, including services available in Spanish and other languages.
- Jackson Behavioral Health Hospital is located in Miami and provides a variety of mental health care services.
Another helpful resource is E-Counseling, an online directory of mental health professionals you can use to search for care near you.