An Overview of Mental Health in Mission, Texas
Mission, Texas is a largely Hispanic community of 82,200 people. 87.5 percent of residents are Hispanic, 81.1 percent’s native language is non-English and approximately 20 percent are non-U.S. citizens. Just 10.7 percent of the population is white. Nearly 30 percent of the population is foreign born.
As of 2016, the median household income in Mission was $40,945, which is significantly lower than the state’s median household income of $56,565. The poverty rate in this Southern Texas town is 24 percent, 10 percent greater than all of the United States. More than a quarter of the population does not hold a high school diploma, and less than a quarter of the population possesses a bachelor’s degree. The largest industries in Mission are healthcare and social assistance and educational services. The highest paid industry is mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction.
Mission is a densely populated city, with a population density that is 2,453 percent higher than the national average. It is the 420th largest city in the United States. Each of these numbers is bleak and explains the mental health crisis that is occurring in Texas, particularly in the Southern region.
Mental Health Concerns in Mission, Texas
Texas’s mental healthcare has reached the point of crisis. According to reports from 206, approximately 1 million Texans are afflicted by a serious mental health condition, including depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder. At least half a million children younger than 17 years of age live with severe emotional disturbance.
According to data from an October 2016 report, approximately 1.6 million adults and 181,000 children aged 12 to 17 are plagued by a substance abuse disorder. On average, Texas spends approximately $1.4 billion in emergency room costs and $650 million more in court costs to address both substance abuse disorders and mental illness.
Drinking is another common problem in Hidalgo County. According to the stats, the driving deaths involving alcohol are at 27.9 percent. The violent crimes rate in the region is 311.9 per 100,000 individuals, which is extremely high.
Hidalgo’s suicide rate is 5.5 to 12 per every 100,000 individuals. The rate is slightly lower than that of the United States’ average rate.
Factors That Contribute to Mission’s Mental Health Concerns
Though mental illness can crop up in just about anyone at any time regardless of his or her socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender or other identifying factors, there are several risk factors for mental illness in the Mission community. Some such factors include the following:
- Integration: Nearly 30 percent of Mission’s residents are foreign born. More than 80 percent either do not speak English or do not speak English as a first language. These residents may encounter difficulty communicating with others, finding employment or simply establishing relationships outside of the home.
- Poverty: Nearly a quarter of the Mission population lives in poverty and those that do not live in poverty make far less than the national average. Poverty is one of the greatest contributing factors of mental illness.
- Substance Abuse: Substance abuse is a huge problem in the Southern part of Texas. Substance abuse can perpetuate existing mental health disorders and create disorders in minds in which mental illness is not present.
- Lack of Higher Education: Higher education usually equates to more job prospects and better pay. The majority of Mission residents have no more than a high school diploma, if that.
- Overcrowding: Mission’s population density is one of the highest in the nation. The lack of personal space can lead to feelings of claustrophobia, anxiety and other mental health problems.
Mental Health Resources in Mission
Texas is one of the worst states when it comes to care and treatment of mental illness. In fact, when it comes to access to care, Texas ranks at number 50. The only state that ranked below it was Mississippi (D.C. was included in the survey). Texas does not make it easy for those with mental illness to access the care they desperately need. That’s where E-Counseling comes in.
E-Counseling strives to provide the residents of Mission and beyond with easily accessible, quality mental health care. If you or a loved one lives with a behavioral, emotional or mental disorder, refer to E-Counseling’s directory to find a compassionate professional who can help you overcome your issues and move forward with your life.