An Overview of Mental Health in Missouri City, Texas
Missouri City, Texas is a suburb of Houston with a population of approximately 74,497 residents. It forms part of the Houston, Sugar Land, and The Woodlands metro area. A small part of Missouri City occupies Harris County with the majority geographically placed in Fort Bend County. Missouri City is 17 miles from downtown Houston; the two cities share a border.
Missouri City became attractive to black, middle-class families for its lower housing prices and proximity to Houston. Black Entertainment Television named Missouri City a model city for African Americans. In 2018, citizens elected a black woman to represent them, making her both the first black mayor and first female mayor in the history of Missouri City.
Severe weather patterns can affect citizens of Missouri City
Fort Bend County’s natural disasters are far greater than the U.S. average. President-declared disasters and emergencies are also high. Causes include fires, severe storms, high winds, floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. These natural catastrophes can exacerbate mental illness symptoms and cause people to suffer poverty, loss of life or severe physical injury, followed by anxiety, depression, grief and extreme stress.
Diversity in Missouri City
41.3 percent of Missouri City residents are Black, with 23.4 percent White, 16.6 percent Asian, 15.9 percent Hispanic, with the remaining percentages identifying as two or more races at 2.1 percent, American Indian at 0.2 percent, Pacific Islander at 0.01 percent and Other at 0.2 percent.
Mental Health Challenges in Missouri City
Across the United States, studies reveal that:
- A fourth of homeless adults who stay in shelters live with serious mental illness and nearly half struggle with substance abuse disorders.
- Some young people who end up in juvenile court systems have a mental illness.
- Less than half of adults receive mental health treatment, while roughly half of all children do not receive mental health treatment.
- Whites receive twice as much mental health treatment access as African Americans and Hispanic populations.
- By the age of 14, half of mentally ill teens will show symptoms; by age 24, about 75 percent of young people will show symptoms of their mental illnesses.
- Decades can pass between the onset of mental illness and the time people get treatment.
Of particular concern for Missouri City is the high percentage of African-American and Hispanic citizens who are receiving only half the mental health care resources of other races.
Violent crime is higher in Missouri City than the U.S. average. Types of violent crime include manslaughter, aggravated assault and robbery. Crime can sometimes correlate with mental illness; however, most people with mental health issues are not violent.
Texas has 56 percent less mental health professionals than it needs to provide adequate mental health coverage to residents. Some of the problems facing citizens of Missouri City that prevent them from getting mental health treatment include:
- Low mental health provider ratios
- Communication problems
- Hispanics and African Americans are less likely to receive help
- Fear of deportation for those who are not American citizens
- Homeless people are often mentally ill and unable to seek treatment
- Divorce counseling could save marriages
- Violent Crime causes many social problems, including mental illness
Help for Teens with Mental Health Issues
Parents in Missouri City can help by noticing signs of mental illness in teens:
- Cannot concentrate; school grades suffer
- Normally compliant teen begins taking risks that put self or others in danger
- Insomnia or desire to sleep all the time
- Refuses to eat or overeats; large weight loss or weight gain
- Seems withdrawn, sad, tearful, unmotivated or uninterested in activities
- Talks about self-harm or desire not to live
- Complains of fast heart rate, rapid breathing or feeling ill
- Appears to be using alcohol, drugs or other means of self-medication
Parents can help teens who exhibit any of these behaviors by finding appropriate mental health service providers who can treat the onset of mental illness.
Mental Health Services Are Available
In Fort Bend County, the Indigent Health Care Program’s Missouri City Office provides medical and mental health coverage for individuals with income based at 21% or below the federal poverty level.
Citizens of Missouri City will find the mental health services they need through E-Counseling’s directory. All people deserve to receive the mental health care they need to improve their quality of life.