An Overview of Mental Health in Fairfield, California
For many, the booming west coast city of Fairfield, California is the pinnacle of Pacific living. According to 2017 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, Fairfield is home to over 116,000 people. Given the many appealing characteristics of the city, it is not hard to see why so many people are flocking to live there. Amenities, such as grocery stores and restaurants are easily accessible and copious. Around just about every street corner is a good place to get some shopping done or catch some entertainment. If you are a person who prefers walking or cycling over driving to destinations, you should be happy to know the neighborhoods of Fairfield are quite walkable, and bike lanes are not hard to find. Plus, the efficient public transportation of the area is always an option.
The most common motivational factor behind a family’s decision to move to Fairfield has to do with work. Job opportunities like a raise in salary or a new job altogether are what often drives people to move domiciles. However, not everyone in the market for a job is able to find one. Decent-paying jobs in Fairfield are becoming increasingly scarce and hard to obtain for those living there. The economic troubles of the city are ancillary to another complex issue. Experts are saying Fairfield is going through a “mental health crisis.” Let’s go over what that means, why Fairfield is being hit so hard, and what you can do to reach out to a licensed therapist who can help if you are in need.
An Overview of Mental Health in Fairfield, California
Unfortunately, mental health in America is sharply declining as time goes on. Illness is not an uncommon occurrence. Chances are, you probably know someone struggling with a mental health condition, if not yourself. A particularly menacing study from Johns Hopkins Medicine estimates 26 percent of American adults suffer from a diagnosable mental condition at some point during a given year. Narrowing the scope of the statistics fails to provide more hopeful results. A 2017 study commissioned by Mental Health America puts California amongst the top 50 percent of states regarding the prevalence of mental illness and lack of access to care. Mental illness, in this context and for future reference, refers to any psychiatric/behavioral ailment a person can be diagnosed with ranging in severity. For example, clinical depression or bipolar disorder. So, why is mental health such a problem in Fairfield, specifically?
First of all, the city’s economy is not in tip-top shape. On the contrary, it is quite poor relative to the rest of the nation. For example, the rate of chronically unemployed individuals is 43 percent higher than the national average. Unfortunately, the relationship between mental health and income is not inconsequential. Research tells us poverty not only breeds mental illness but also exacerbates the experience of mental illness. As per a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), American adults living under the federal poverty level are more than twice as likely to suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder than the typical American.
Fairfield also is experiencing a significant crime problem. People living there routinely describe the crime as rampant. According to the most recent statistics from the FBI, violent crimes disproportionately occur in Fairfield. Areas that enjoy lower rates of crime, especially violent crime, also see less mental illness. While county officials have expressed equal concern and are actively pushing against crime, results are not going to come to fruition overnight. In the meantime, the mental health of Fairfield is negatively impacted by lawbreaking.
California’s above average rate of divorce is also a contributing factor. Some studies estimate it to be the highest in the nation. It is no secret divorce often has a profound influence on the mental health of everyone involved, including children. If you feel your relationship is in jeopardy, it is recommended to reach out to a therapist before making any permanent decisions.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Fairfield, California
A harsh reality of American living is the frequently troublesome nature of seeking out counseling. An especially alarming study from the National Institute of Mental Health estimates 57 percent of Americans who experience mental illness receive no treatment during a given year, regardless of the necessity to do so. Experts are partly blaming the nationwide shortage of mental health professionals as being the reason so many people are going through life without care.
In the case of Fairfield, specifically, people are pointing fingers at ineffective public policy, poverty, and stigma surrounding mental illness as being the most prominent barriers to treatment. A Fairfield resident is 2.2 percent more likely to not have any form of health insurance. Undoubtedly, a good chunk of those people is low-income earners. For them, the out-of-pocket expense of counseling is not a financially feasible option.
Mental Health Resources in Fairfield, California
Thanks to attention from both state and federal entities, more organizations are popping up across the state which focuses on improving the mental health of their communities. Thankfully, residents of Fairfield have a good number of these institutions to choose from when seeking assistance. NAMI of Solano County provides the city of Fairfield a bevy of services and resources relating to mental health. The Laurel Creek House is another organization in the area with similar offerings.
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