An Overview of Mental Health in Petaluma, California
Petaluma, California, looks more like a New England beach town than it does a typical California beach-side city. The town, which sits in Sonoma County and just 32 miles north of San Francisco, is characterized by postcard worthy views of a bay full of sailboats, historic downtown buildings and a mix of Victorian-era homes and modern mansions. There’s also nature in Petaluma, which many are hard-pressed to find in California. Petaluma is truly a beautiful place to live, but just because it’s beautiful doesn’t mean it’s free of issues. One such issue Petaluma residents face is mental illness.
Petaluma at a Glance
Petaluma has a population of 60,870 individuals. The median age of those individuals is 41.6, which is much higher than the national or state median. The median household income is $80,907. This amount is significantly greater than Sonoma County’s median household income of $66,833, the state’s median of $63,783 and the national median of $55,322. The poverty rate is 8.59 percent. The median property value is $498,200, which is greater than any surrounding counties’, the state’s and the nation’s median property value.
As in many affluent cities in America, the gender-wage gap is alive and well in Petaluma. The average male earns $70,516 while a female with similar qualifications and experience in a similar role makes $57,116. Wage inequality also exists between races. Asians are the highest earning, bringing home an average salary of $91, 874. Whites are the second highest earners, averaging about $82,194. People of two or more races, however, bring home just $20,446.
78.8 percent of Petaluma residents are White. 21.6 percent are Hispanic or Latino and the remainder of residents are Black, Asian and a mix of two or more races.
The majority of Petaluma working residents work in high-stress jobs and/or industries. The most common jobs held by residents are in management, administration and sales. The most common industries in which residents work are healthcare, retail and professional, scientific and technology.
Factors That May Contribute to Declining Mental Health
All in all, Petaluma is a great place to live. However, even the best places to live are plagued by mental illness. Mental illness stems from many factors, many of which are present in this Nor-Cal city. Some such factors that may affect the emotional well-being of residents are as follows:
- Wealth: Petaluma has the most wealth of all the surrounding counties. Wealth has been associated with an inflated sense of power, which research suggests leads to narcissism, bipolar disorder and a dysconnectivity from one’s friends and family. Many wealthy people are also too proud to admit if something is amiss, which is why many will choose to go without mental health care than admit they need help.
- Wage Inequality: Both the gender-pay gap and the wage inequality between races may contribute to increased rates of depression and anxiety. When a person gets paid less than another simply because of her gender or his or her ethnicity, it can create feelings of low self-worth and even anger.
- Cost of Living: Petaluma residents may earn a substantial amount of money, but much of that money goes toward bills. AreaVibes gave the town a Cost of Living rating of an F. The area received a COL index of 160, which is 30 points higher than California’s 130. The housing index is more than two times the national average, at 238. Groceries received an index of 125, goods and services 129 and healthcare 124. According to one source, these everyday expenses are the number one financial stressor Californians deal with.
- Poverty: Impoverished people who are surrounded by wealthy families may exhibit feelings of low self-worth, depression and powerlessness. Nearly one in 10 individuals in Petaluma live in poverty.
What To Do if You Need Help
If you live with anxiety, depression, stress, fear or any other emotional disturbance, you are not alone. There are hundreds of professionals in your area or surrounding areas who can and are willing to help. You just need to find them. E-Counseling’s mental health directory is designed to help you find the care you need in as discreet and convenient manner as possible. All you have to do is type in your zip code and the directory will reveal therapists near you. Get the care you need and deserve – begin your search today.