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An Overview of Mental Health in Pico Rivera, California
Once separated into two agricultural communities called Pico and Rivera, the city of Pico Rivera, California officially was incorporated in 1958 when the two towns merged. Pico Rivera has since grown to a population of 63,522 people and is now a large industrial center and residential area. Recreation is important to city officials and residents, which is why over 120 acres of the city has been dedicated to recreational facilities and parks.
Pico Rivera, which is located in Los Angeles County, is home to a large Hispanic population. 89.4 percent of the population identifies as Hispanic while only 5.9 percent of the community identified as white. The top employers for residents in the area include: El Rancho Unified School District, Wal-Mart, and the City of Pico Rivera. At the surface the bustling town of Pico River, California is a beautiful city with residents who have a strong sense of community; however, if you look deeper into this city’s situation you’ll find that there is much the residents of the city struggle with.
For one, residents in Pico Rivera struggle to make enough to meet the housing demands. The median monthly mortgage is $1,854 and the median rent is $1,259; however, the annual per capita income is only $21,057. A total cost of living index of 130 is 30 percent higher than the national average. Struggling to make ends meet can results in increased stress, depression, and anxiety.
A survey conducted by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health found that 7 percent of adults claim they had depression in 2015. 9.6 percent of adults in Los Angeles County likely had serious distress in 2014, and 18 percent of adults needed help for a mental concern or substance abuse issue that year. Additionally, 22.4 percent of teens needed help for mental health problems in the same year.
The Impact of Not Receiving Treatment in Pico Rivera, California
In Los Angeles County, 43.2 percent of those sought or needed help for their mental health concerns did not receive treatment. Not receiving care for a mental illness can result in some severe outcomes:
In Los Angeles County, 7.3 percent of people claim they have ever seriously thought about suicide. Unfortunately, suicide is one of the most severe outcomes for mentally ill populations who do not receive treatment. In any given year between 2008 and 2016, the suicide rate in the county was 7.6 people per 100,000 population. However, Pico Rivera had a lower rate of 5.7.
Low Graduation Rates
Low high school and college graduation rates are a huge concern in Pico Rivera. For individuals over the age of 25, only 70.9 percent are high school graduates and 12.2 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Low graduation rates greatly affect one’s expected future earnings. In Pico Rivera, residents without a high school degree earned an average yearly income of $25,634. High school graduates earned an average income of $31,104, those with a Bachelor’s degree earned $47,569, and those with a graduate degree earned $61,016.
Excessive alcohol consumption and drug use are both outcomes of unaddressed mental health issues. 31.5 percent of adults in Los Angeles County said they had participated in binge drinking, and 22.5 percent of teens said they had an alcoholic drink in 2014. The county had a death rate of 6.6 per 100,000 people due to an unintentional drug overdose.
Los Angeles County has seen a consistent rise in homeless populations. From 2013 to 2015, the number of homeless in the community rose from 35,524 to 41,174. In 2015, 29.7 percent of these people were unsheltered. Also, about 20 percent of homeless people were youths under the age of 18. Sadly, 9.8 percent of the homeless population consisted of veterans.
The homeless living in Los Angeles County suffer from several physical and mental health concerns:
- 8 percent are severely mentally ill
- 2 percent have a substance abuse problem
- 8 percent have a physical disability
- 4 percent are chronically homeless