An Overview of Mental Health in Fountain Valley, California
Fountain Valley, California was originally covered with swamps. Once early settlers began to utilize drainage canals to drain the land, the pioneers could grow crops and graze cattle on the fertile area. In 1957, Fountain Valley became an official city residing in Orange County. Today, the city bustles with recreational events and community service to continue to progress residential life. From swim schedules to senior services, the leaders of the city seek to improve quality of life for every person living in Fountain Valley.
Mental health struggles penetrate the city, yet a surface level view of the area portrays a thriving and fun place.
The statistical make-up of the city sets the foundation for an understanding of the mental health concerns that the city battles. The population is just over 56,000 people with about 6,200 people per square mile. The median age is slightly higher than usual for a city of this size at approximately 44 years old. The racial distribution of the city, the opportunity gaps, living costs, and crime contribute to mental illnesses and a need for a solution to the emotional difficulties.
Racial differences reflect differences in mental health struggles and needs. Fountain Valley is approximately 45 percent white, 35 percent Asian, and 16 percent Hispanic:
- Over 13 percent of Asian-Americans or Pacific Islanders were diagnosed with a mental illness in the past year.
- Counselors often lack cultural competence with the Asian population, resulting in misdiagnosis and inadequate treatment.
- Hispanics report a higher rate of feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness than non-Hispanic whites.
- The suicide rate for non-Hispanic whites is twice that of Hispanics.
Evidently, each race has its own struggle with unhealthy mental thoughts and actions. Asians and Hispanics often struggle with language barriers and lack of insurance when it comes to receiving treatment. Cost barriers affect every race.
Stressful work and financial living situations increase the risk for mental health concerns. The opportunity gap shows a 25 percent increase in middle-skill jobs since 2003, but a shortage of people to fill the need. These jobs require more than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year college degree. The top three industries requiring these skills are healthcare, information technology, and advanced manufacturing, comprising nearly half of the countries middle-skill jobs. Acquiring the necessary abilities and applying to these opportunities may reduce stress and unemployment in Fountain Valley California.
Another struggle that contributes to financial instability and mental health difficulties is cost of living. Rated at 166 on the cost of living index, the financial requirements are 20 percent higher than the California average and 66 percent higher than the national average. This evaluation incorporates the costs of health care, transportation, groceries, goods and services, utilities, and housing.
The median home price in Fountain Valley is about $215,000 and $440,000 above the median home price in California and the United States respectively. Similarly, the median rent in this city is higher than the median rent asked in California and nationally by about $500 and $800 respectively.
In addition to financial concerns, crime affects the mental health of the residents of Fountain Valley. Though the current crime rate is lower than the state and national averages, the rate increased 23 percent between 2014 and 2015 as a result of a 15 percent increase in violent crime and 24 percent increase in property crime. Violent crimes include homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, while property crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
Perpetrators of crimes may suffer from mental illness, though the research on this claim is unclear. What is known is that being a victim of a crime is a risk for future health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance abuse.
Fortunately, E-counseling provides an online directory of mental health therapists and counselors to help the people of Fountain Valley, California.