Overview to Mental Health Resources in Lancaster, California
Lancaster, Las Angeles County in Antelope Valley, California is a charter city. This means that the city is governed by its own charter documents rather than the general law. Lancaster had a population of 168,049 in 2015, according to the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance report. The city has a total area of 94.5 square miles (245 km2). It is referred to as the High Desert since its elevation is in the range of 2,000 to 3,000 feet (600–900 m) above sea level. Lancaster has a cold semi-arid steppe climate. As reported by the U.S. Census, Lancaster had a median household income of $50,193 in 2010 and 21.5% of the population living below the poverty line. The city went through redevelopment in 2012 as the downtown businesses formed the Lancaster Old Town Site (LOTS). LOTS have participated in the renovation of business facades and the attraction of new businesses. The mayor during the time of 2009 partnered with China to recruit manufacturing firms from their country to this California city. This resulted in Lancaster’s unemployment rate then at 17% to 6% in 2017. The economy of Lancaster, CA is specialized in Public Administration, Construction, and Healthcare. The California Poppy Reserve, 20 miles (32 km) west of Lancaster, praises itself as one of California’s most bountiful crops of the state flower. The California Poppy Festival is a celebration of spring and draws upward of 60,000 guests to Lancaster City Park each year.
The community of Lancaster was overcome with sadness when two local students committed suicide in response to being bullied in 2012. One of the middle school counselors initiated the “Not in Our Town” program with the intention to create a safer school environment. This initiative spread throughout the community. The program works at addressing hate, bullying, and harassment with a focus on the positive aspects of peer power instead of peer pressure. Unfortunately, a cellphone video of students bullying a student with autism went viral all over the world and on major news sources in September, 2018. The city recognized that they still had a serious problem.
The suicide rate in Antelope Valley is high for adults as well. They are the highest in Los Angeles County at the rate of 11.4%, according to the LA County Department of Health. In April of 2018, a couple’s murder-suicide shocked the area as the boyfriend was known by the town to suffer from depression. The Executive Director of Mental Health America (MHA) in the area states that the high poverty rate and limited resources for situational depression are the causes of their high numbers of suicide. Antelope Valley is also home to many military families, who have struggles unique to them. The majority of the situations are economic pressure for many families as one of the spouses could struggle to find a job, keep a job, and continue paying their mortgages. Depression rates in the Antelope Valley were 17.1 percent in 2012, according to the LA County Department of Health, compared to 6.9% in the U.S. (National Institute of Mental Health). Present day estimates are similar.
The number of people divorced in California is estimated to be at 12% in 2017. It is challenging to find an accurate rate of divorce, since the U.S. Census made the submissions voluntary and California stopped reporting the statistics after the year 1990. The U.S. rate in the same timeframe is estimated to be at 3.2 per 1000 population.
How We Can Help
If you or someone you know is expressing or experiencing any thoughts of suicide, please contact one of the hotlines below. Your life is valuable and there are people who want to help. These are professionals and volunteers who are equipped to help find you some comfort and relief. You do not have to do it alone.
As it was noted above, there seems to be limited mental health resources in Lancaster. We did the research to find you various therapists, organizations, and hospitals who can assist you depending on your needs and concerns. Please visit our website for additional resources. Consider listing your symptoms, concerns, and the timelines to better assist your provider in creating your treatment plan.
We thank you for visiting our website as you move towards stronger mental, emotional, and behavioral health. We hope that the valuable resources listed here on the directory will be one step closer to getting you the help that you need.