An Overview of Mental Health in National City, California
National City, California, is part of the South Bay region of the San Diego metropolitan area. As the second oldest community in the region, National City is a historic site with wonderful architecture, shopping, and restaurants. The location right along the Mexico border gives the city a fantastic multicultural feel. National City is an inexpensive place to visit with easy access to all San Diego offers, which makes it popular with tourists. The town is also known for fabulous parks like Pepper Park along the waterfront and Kimball Park with its sports fields and skate park.
The population that calls National City home was a diverse group of 60,349 people, as of 2016. Approximately two-thirds of the residents were Hispanic (65.8 percent), 19.2 percent were Asian, and 9.8 percent were White alone. Those who describe themselves as Black alone made up 4.3 percent of the population. The biggest challenges for National City residents were socioeconomic. The median household income as of 2016 was $44,901 as compared to $67,739 for the State of California as a whole. However, the cost of living index as of 2016 was 137.4, which is higher than the national average of 100. This combination of factors resulted in a poverty rate of 24.1 percent. Home ownership rates were low (31.9 percent) as well, and most residents (approximately 70 percent) were renters.
Community Health Assessment of 2016 for National City, California
Economic challenges often go hand in hand with a higher need for mental health services. This holds true for National City based on the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) compiled by Kaiser Permanente in 2016. Behavioral and mental health services ranked number four on the list of the top 15 health priorities based on this study. Specifically, suicide, substance abuse, and mental health diagnoses appeared as priority areas. Getting access to care and services for behavioral and mental health issues was identified as the largest roadblock to prevention and treatment.
Often access to mental health care is related to a lack of health insurance. Surprisingly, the CHNA found that residents in San Diego County cited a lack of understanding of their coverage more often than a lack of coverage as a barrier to obtaining services. Specifically, residents found insurance terminology confusing. Part of this issue could be the larger than average percent of the population considered linguistically isolated, meaning that no one in the home speaks or understands English fluently.
Available Resources in National City, California
Several initiatives are underway to help address the need for mental and behavioral health services in National City.
- The “It’s Up to Us, San Diego” campaign seeks to remove the stigma from mental illness and to encourage open discussion in the community. With information targeted toward young adults, men, healthcare providers, and non-English speakers, the campaign is part of the “Live Well San Diego” vision set forth by the county’s Health and Human Service Agency. The service includes a 24/7 crisis line and an online chat feature through the website where consumers can find help.
- The Hospital Association of San Diego& Imperial Counties (HASD&IC) wants to create and support a continuum of care for clients in need of behavioral and mental health care. This involves advocacy, creating treatment options, and supporting tools like telehealth to make services more readily available.
- The San Diego County Suicide Prevention Council is a collaborative effort with a goal of reducing suicides in the county to zero. In 2018, the group issued an update to the county’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan (SPAP). Through the mechanism of community planning, media campaigns, and other tools, the group’s ultimate goal is to equip every resident with the ability to recognize suicide risk and intervene appropriately.
Finding Help on Your Own in National City, California
If you or someone you love is struggling with maintaining stable, positive mental health, you may be looking for a confidential way to find help. E-Counseling.com can help through the online directory of providers in the National City area. You can browse through a list of providers and review qualifications, experience, and any specialties such as psychotherapy, family counseling, and more. Best of all, you can review a personal statement from the professional describing how he or she approaches the therapeutic relationship so you can assess whether this is the person you want to work with.