An Overview of Mental Health in North Miami, Florida
North Miami developed in the 1800s, leaving the city with rich culture and a multitude of mid-century modern buildings. With its beautiful weather, numerous beaches, and multiple tourist attractions, the city is also one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the entire state. Blending together a variety of needs and interests also brings about distinctive mental health concerns.
A visitor, however, may never see into the deeper underlying issues of the city. North Miami attractions include various indoor and outdoor activities. Explore the glamorous pieces as you walk down Antique Row, and then stop by Captain Jim’s for some of the best seafood. Browse through paintings by Venezuelan artist Rolando Pena at Moca, and then step outdoors into the beautiful oasis of the Disney-like Enchanted Forest. Drive over the Broad Causeway bridge for some of the best views in the city.
The population of North Miami combined with the public services contribute to the mental health concerns of the city. With a population of almost 60,000 people, the homes are split evenly between family-led homes and homes with disconnected parts of a family. The lack of a family culture, along with race, status, education, poverty, and crime correlate with specific mental illnesses in the city.
North Miami is made up of approximately 57 percent Blacks and 27 percent Hispanics. With these groups of people come common struggles with mental and emotional health.
- African Americans commonly experience major depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, suicide (especially among young men), and posttraumatic stress disorder (because of increased exposure to violence).
- Prominent mental health risk factors for African Americans are homelessness and exposure to violence.
- African Americans suffer from misdiagnosis and poor quality of care due to racial bias from providers.
- Latinos are most likely to suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcoholism, and suicide attempts (among high school girls).
- The Hispanic community struggles with language barriers when seeking diagnosis and treatment.
Another racial struggle is related to the legal status of Latinos. Immigrants who arrive without documentation may not seek help for fear of deportation. Even the children of these immigrants who are eligible for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act often are not registered because families fear the presumed consequences.
A second status that affects mental health concerns is that of marriage. Almost 50 percent of the population is never married, and about 10 percent of the population is divorced with only 35 percent being married. Unique family dynamics contribute to instability and insecurity in relationships and care.
Lack of education is a risk factor for mental illness. In North Miami, only 75 percent of the population completes high school or higher. The average test scores are about 12 percent lower than both the Florida and national averages. There are more students per teacher, meaning that children do not receive as much one-on-one attention. Not only that, but over seven percent of the population is unemployed. Lack of employment has a negative impact on mental health, and it also restricts the ability to seek help for any problems that arise.
The poverty rate of almost 25 percent is over double that of the national rate. With a median household income of only 37,000 dollars, it can be especially difficult for families to make ends meet. With so much financial stress, anxiety and depression threaten to set in. The struggles of poverty often combine with difficult work circumstances and dangerous living conditions to make life even harder. Mental health concerns may contribute to these situations or occur as a result.
The crime in North Miami is extreme, and it exposes many people to violence, which can lead to PTSD and other emotional struggles.
- Crime is 70 percent more likely in North Miami than in Florida, on average, and 81 percent more likely than in the rest of the United States.
- The violent crime rate is 88 percent higher and 101 percent higher in North Miami than in Florida and the United States respectively.
- People experience property crime 67 percent more often in North Miami than in Florida, and 77 percent more often than in the United States.
This online website provides a directory of trusted counselors and therapists, as well as an abundance of mental health information and resources.