An Overview of Mental Health in McAllen
Mental health services in McAllen, Texas, are in great need of expansion. The Rio Grande Valley faces many challenges in providing mental health care. One challenge is that up to 56 percent of adults with mental disorders do not seek treatment. This may be because of cost, access, stigma, or doctor shortage.
McAllen has suffered for several reasons. However, the shortage of doctors is one of the most significant. Recent estimates put the number of mental health care professionals in the Rio Grande Valley at 46 per 100,000 people. The actual number of McAllen residents with mental disorders is equal to the national average. The real problem lies in helping these people access care.
This shortage has had many far-reaching effects. Studies from 2009 showed evidence of poor outpatient care in psychiatric facilities. There were high rates of readmission, as high as 26.72 percent at Doctors Hospital.
Efforts are being made across the region to provide better mental health care. There is an active push to provide low-cost or free treatment throughout the Valley.
Effects of Education, Divorce Rates, and Other Criteria
There is a high need for more mental health care resources in McAllen. Many residents fall into demographics that typically need access to therapy. These include people in poverty, divorced or separated couples, and those with addictive behaviors.
The unemployment rate in McAllen is just above 6 percent. However, the rate of those without health insurance is much higher. More than 32 percent of all people up to the age of 65 have no health insurance of any kind. More than a quarter of McAllen’s population lives below the poverty threshold. Divorce rates are low at just under 10 percent. McAllen also has lower-than-average education rates. Only 28 percent of the population possesses a bachelor’s degree.
Another significant statistic about McAllen is its position as a drug transport city. The nearby border makes the city a prime pass point for heroin and methamphetamine. Young people especially reported using more heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. This is significant in shaping a picture of the mental health of the region. The National Bureau of Economic Research says there is a strong link between substance abuse and mental health disorders. Those with mental illness account for the consumption of 38 percent of alcohol and 44 percent of cocaine. They are also responsible for the consumption of 40 percent of cigarettes.
Mental Health Resources in McAllen
In recent years, the Rio Grande Valley has led a campaign for better mental health care. In 2017, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine opened a new psychiatric program. The goal of this is to provide more mental health professionals for the area. Tropical Texas Behavioral Health also expanded its services to more than 31,000 locals in 2017.
Other treatment centers offer free mental health care to those who need it. Hope Family Health Center is one of these facilities. It serves about 2,000 patients a year and continues to expand. Facilities like these are revolutionizing the mental health care industry in McAllen.
Hope Family has also recently implemented a new program called Warm Line. This program aims to offer support to patients going through temporary mental crises. Warm Line matches patients to people who have had similar experiences. The purpose is to talk, ask advice, and seek support. This is an excellent resource for people who cannot or do not want to seek professional care.
Challenges of Finding a Therapist in McAllen
It can be daunting to start the search for a new therapist. For patients just beginning to realize that they need therapy, the prospect is downright overwhelming. Thankfully, you do not have to dive in on your own. Our directory makes it easy to find a therapist in McAllen who suits your unique needs.
Insurance companies often offer to match patients with therapists. This seems nice, but it means long wait times and a lot of paperwork. We can help you find a therapist in short order and get you started on treatment as soon as possible.
We also are dedicated to providing all the information you need about local therapists. This makes it possible for you to find a counselor who is the best possible match. McAllen’s growing awareness of mental health needs means more opportunities for care. Our comprehensive directory can match you with a professional to get you started.