An Overview of Mental Health in Pittsburg, California
Pittsburg, California, population 70,677 as of 2016, is a hub of diversity, abundant sunshine, and busy young families. The median age of the residents in Pittsburg is 33.7 years, about three years younger than the state figure. Parents with children make up 76 percent of the households, and the beautiful weather allows those families to get outdoors for sports and other activities.
The median household income of $67,392 is nearly equal to that of the state as a whole ($67,739). Jobs in Pittsburg are plentiful, and the unemployment rate of 5.3 percent is lower than the state rate. The largest racial group in Pittsburg, California, is Hispanic (41 percent), followed by White (18.3 percent), Asian (17.3 percent), and Black (16.4 percent). Multiracial individuals make up 6.2 percent of the population, and all remaining groups make up less than 2 percent each. About one-third of the residents are foreign born.
Challenges Facing Pittsburg, California
Despite the many positives, Pittsburg, California, faces some economic and social challenges.
- The cost of living in Pittsburg is higher than the average for the United States. The index for the city is 138.2 compared to 100 for the country.
- The crime rate is another challenge. While the crime index for the United States is 280.5 per 100,000 residents in the population, the index for Pittsburg is 313. Most of the criminal activity involves property, such as thefts and burglaries.
- The poverty rate is 15.4 percent, meaning that more than 10,000 people live at or below the federal poverty line.
- While the Affordable Care Act did decrease the overall number of residents without health insurance, 18.7 percent still have no coverage. This exceeds both the county and the state rate.
These issues play a part in the availability and access to mental health services in the community.
Community Health Needs Assessment of Pittsburg, California
In May 2016, Sutter Delta Medical Center published a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) for the area including Pittsburg, Bay Point, and Antioch. Access to mental, behavioral, and substance abuse services was fourth on the list of eight prioritized health needs for the region. Difficulty in accessing services creates multiple difficulties for the community.
For example, the number of emergency room visits and hospitalizations for mental health concerns and substance abuse disorders is higher than average in this area. For the Bay Point/Pittsburg area, residents experienced emergency room visits for mental health concerns at a rate of 279 per 10,000 individuals in the population. The rate for the state of California was 153.6, and the rate for Contra Costa County was 254. Similarly, the rate of hospitalizations for those issues was 206.3 compared to 188.6 for the state and 197.1 for the county.
Residents surveyed for the CHNA mentioned some specific factors that contributed to mental health difficulties:
- The consistent stress of trying to provide food and shelter with limited financial resources leads many residents to feel overwhelmed and inadequate, often leading to depression.
- The isolation of undocumented individuals and families keeps many from seeking out help when they need it.
- The high occurrence of depression, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder has led to a high rate of suicide attempts and completions.
- Traumatic childhood experiences such as violence at home or school often go untreated into adulthood and lead to poor mental health days.
The region is designated by the United States government as a Health Professional shortage in terms of mental health providers. In a community with this type of shortage, those in need of help often have to travel long distances to find a professional that meets their needs. Wait times for appointments can be months long, and the closest provider might not be covered by the resident’s insurance coverage.
Finding the Help You Need in Pittsburg, California
E-Counseling.com strives to make it easier for Pittsburg residents to find the help they need. The online directory lists professionals in the area, along with their specialties and credentials. Each provider also displays a photograph and a personal statement as to how they approach the therapeutic relationship, so you can choose one that best fits your needs. After all, working with a mental health counselor requires a great deal of trust. Do your homework in advance so you’ll get the most out of the services.