An Overview of Mental Health in Medford, Massachusetts
Home to 57,180 residents and nestled into the northwest Boston metro area, Medford is a beautifully urban city with access to all the great sites, food and history of Boston, as well as Harvard University just a few miles away. This classic New England city has a wealth of resources, but isn’t without its problems. Mental illness and risk factors leading to mental illness are present throughout the area. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health issue, find out how you can access local resources today.
Contributing Factors to Mental Health Issues
Mental illness can be influenced by a large variety of factors, on the personal, communal and societal levels. Most of these factors are strongly and positively correlated, and the effects are cumulative. Here are some of the most common risk factors that can increase the risk of a mental health issue:
- Drug use
- Alcohol use
- Child abuse
- Lack of parental involvement
- Lack of economic opportunities
Thankfully, Medford is an area full of economic opportunities. Many of these factors are less frequent in Medford than in other areas of the nation. Still, it’s important to understand each of these risks and seek help from a therapist or other mental health professional if you experience any of these factors.
Prevalence of Mental Illness in Massachusetts
Mental illness can be seen at the national, state and local levels. Nationally, approximately 18.3 percent of adults, or 44.7 million individuals, experience mental illness. Of those, less than half, about 19.2 million, receive any treatment for their mental health issue.
The rate of depression among adolescents in Massachusetts is similar to the national average, about 11.1 percent. Unfortunately, only half of adolescents with depression received treatment. Middlesex County is ranked well as a healthy community, with only 25.8 deaths of despair out of 100,000 residents, which is significantly less than the national average of 38.5. This may mean that less individuals suffer from mental illness or its disastrous side effects, but that doesn’t make mental health issues any less serious for those who are still affected. Even with low averages and great preventive factors, Medford is still home to many individuals who are struggling with a mental health crisis. Learn to identify the signs in order to help a loved one find the assistance they need.
Mental Health Challenges in Medford
Residents of Medford, Massachusetts face many of the risk factors that can contribute to poor mental health in a community. Approximately 3.71 percent of adult residents of Massachusetts live with a serious mental illness. These challenges can cause increased rates of mental illness. If you know anyone who is dealing with one or more of these factors, encourage them to contact a local mental health professional for assistance and support.
Excessive use of alcohol is strongly linked with depression. Not only do individuals who are experiencing a depressive episode typically drink to excess, but many individuals who are drinking excessively soon become depressed. In Middlesex County, 19 percent of adults reported drinking to excess. This is lower than many other counties in Massachusetts, but still leaves a large number of adults at risk of depression.
While poverty is a strong risk factor in mental health, Medford enjoys a low poverty rate of 10.5 percent and a median household income of $79,607. On average, households fare far better in Medford than other areas of the nation. There are still over 10 percent of individuals for whom poverty is a source of emotional, financial and interpersonal stress.
Drug abuse, whether prescription or illicit, can dramatically impact an individual’s mental health. Even worse, drug abuse can be dangerous and lead to premature death. In Massachusetts, 33 individuals per 100,000 were killed from a drug overdose. Because of the strong link between drugs and mental illness, it’s critical that anyone you know struggling with drug addictions seeks help immediately.
Finding a Therapist in Medford, Massachusetts
If you or someone you know is part of the 46.2 percent of adults living with mental illness in Massachusetts who haven’t receive treatment, learn how you can get connected today. The E-Counseling directory can help you find the local resources you or a loved one needs.