An Overview of Mental Health in Melbourne, Florida
From the Indian River Lagoon to its views of the Atlantic Ocean, Melbourne, Florida, has much to offer its residents. This city, which is located in Brevard County, is located about 75 minutes away from Orlando, one of Florida’s most popular tourist destinations. The city has a rich cultural arts community and its population of 81,192 includes males and females nearly equally, with of a difference of only .02 percent. While this even division of gender can give both sexes the same opportunities within the city, it might also mean a greater abundance of mental health issues that range from hereditary disorders, such as schizophrenia, and problems that stem from environmental factors, such as depression over one’s social standing or job position. However, examining these factors can be the first step in getting people in Melbourne who suffer from mental illness the help they need.
There is limited diversity in Melbourne, with the majority of the population being Caucasian and nearly half claiming no religious affiliation, according to U.S. News. Data culled from the same report revealed that over 20 percent of people who live in the city are over the age of 65, as Florida is one of the most popular states for retirees. However, this may be contributing to Brevard Country’s rising suicide rate, which the CDC reports as being 21.2 percent. There are several factors that may cause older people to end their lives and include:
- Illness: Being diagnosed with a terminal disease can cause some elderly people to choose to end their lives on their own terms;
- Poverty: The poverty rate in Melbourne is 5 percent, which is significantly higher than the national rate of 12.3 percent;
- Grief: Older people are more prone to losing loved ones of their generation, which can lead to feelings of depression;
- Loneliness: Elderly people who live alone may succumb to feelings of being isolated and may decide to take their own lives as a result.
While not all suicides in Brevard County are tied to these issues, the data suggests that mental illness is playing a part in this disturbing trend.
Racial Tension and Mental Health in Melbourne
Brevard County has one of the highest rates of interracial marriages in the state. While most people are tolerant, a large percentage of the population in this area has a higher median age, and older conservatives may oppose or be intolerant of such unions. This could lead to racial tension between neighbors, and the children of these couples may targeted for verbal and emotional bullying. These actions can lead to the development of several mental health problems including social anxiety, depression and even eating disorders.
The Crisis of Mental Health Care in Florida
Florida tops the list of mental health issues per state, according to the Orlando Sentinel. It further reports that 70 percent of people in the state who suffer from mental problems cannot get the help they need and that Florida ranks 49th out of the 50 states when it comes to the quality and availability of its mental health programs. People who cannot access therapy and medications may commit acts of violence on others or themselves, and young people who suffer from depression or bipolar disorder may do so in silence until they feel compelled to take their own lives. If this problem continues, the suicide rates for Brevard County and the rest of the state will likely continue to climb.
In 2016, there were 134 suicides in Brevard County, according to the Behavioral Health Association of Florida. In contrast, 30 homicides took place in the same year. However, despite these shocking numbers, the same data group shows that Florida is spending $90 less per capita than the national average per person for mental health care: a mere $36. This means that while there may be facilities in the area that offer help to the mentally ill, those who do not have health insurance or who are homeless will likely only get the minimum of treatment.
Get Help Now With E-Counseling
If you are suffering from a mental health problem, it is not too late to find help in Melbourne. E-Counseling.com offers a comprehensive directory of therapists and can help you connect with one that meets your individual needs. The mental health care crisis in Florida is considerable, but that does not mean you have to suffer alone; help can be closer than you think.