An Overview of Mental Health in Homestead, Florida
When people think of Florida, they think of a tropical environment, white sandy beaches and an ocean horizon. In short, they think of paradise. While Homestead is within driving distance of all things characteristic of Florida—beaches, boardwalks and bikinis—it is a far cry from paradise. AreaVibes gave it a livability score of just 65, which is a solid D. The reasons behind this score may explain why mental health seems to be a prevalent issue in Homestead and the rest of Miami-Dade County.
Homestead, Florida, at a Glance
Homestead is located in Miami-Dade County, a county that those who don’t live there associated with glam, culture and all things exotic. However, for those who live there, Miami and, in particular, Homestead, is just your average American town with your average American residents trying to make a living.
Homestead has a population of 69,907. Of the nearly than 70,000 residents, nearly one-third live in poverty. Those that do not live in poverty still make significantly less than the state and national averages. The average income per capita is a startlingly low $17,405, compared with the national average of $31,177. The median household income is just $43,150, which is approximately $14,000 lower than the national median and about $7,000 lower than the state median.
A factor that may contribute to the city’s low income levels is the lack of education. More than one-quarter of individuals aged 25 years or older does NOT possess a high school diploma. Just 20 percent possess a bachelor’s degree or higher.
As one might expect from a suburb of Miami, the population of Homestead is very diverse. According to DataUSA, 60 percent of residents are Hispanic, 21.5 percent are African American and 15.6 percent are white. More than half the population are non-native English speakers. The most common language spoken in the area is Spanish, English the second most common and French-Creole the third.
The homeownership rate in Homestead is just 38.1 percent, which is far lower than the nation’s, state’s and county’s rates of 63.6, 64.8 and 52.6 percent respectively. More than a quarter of residents do not have health coverage.
Factors That May Contribute to Behavioral Disorders
Most everything about Homestead, save for its weather, makes it the perfect breeding ground for mental illness. Below you can explore how certain factors may contribute to poor mental health:
- Poverty: Poverty is one of the greatest concerns in Homestead. Poverty has been linked to mental illness time and time again.
- Cost of Living: The cost of living in Homestead is higher than the national average in three categories and only slightly lower in three others, earning it an overall rating of 98. Considering how low the income per capita and median household income is, it’s not unthinkable that the cost of living further perpetuates poverty. It may also cause stress, depression and anxiety.
- Crime: The crime rates in Homestead are startling. Though the murder rate is lower than the state and national average, rates for almost all other types of crime are two to three times higher than state and national rates. For instance, robbery rates in Homestead are 362.3 per 100,000 individuals compared with the state and national rates of 88.6 and 98. The total crime rate in homestead is 4,551 per 100,000 individuals, compared to the state and national rates of 2,920 and 2,745. Fear of crime is associated with poorer mental health. Studies also show that depressed people are three times more likely to commit a violent crime than happy individuals.
- HIV Diagnoses: In 2017, there were approximately 1,282.2 individuals living with an HIV diagnosis in Miami-Dade county. Such a diagnosis can cause fear, depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide.
- Integration: The majority of Homestead residents are minorities. Minorities are less likely to receive mental health care when necessary. Additionally, minorities or foreign born individuals may feel out of place and disconnected from the world around them.
Find the Help You Need
If you live in Homestead, Florida, and have a mental illness, or if you experience chronic emotional issues such as depression and anxiety, it’s time to find the help you need and deserve. Use E-Counseling’s online directory to help you do just that in a discreet, affordable and easy manner.