An Overview of Mental Health in Pontiac, Michigan
Just slightly west and north of Detroit, Pontiac, Michigan is the county seat of Oakland County. The city is best known for being the home of General Motors, which supplied many of the jobs and economy throughout the 20th century. Founded in 1818, the city is the second in Michigan to be organized by European Americans.
The city is named after a famous Indian chief and was discovered as settlers looked north of Detroit for areas that weren’t barren or sterile. It is surrounded by Auburn Hills, Lake Angelus, Waterford Township and Bloomfield Township. The area boomed mostly in the 1920s and has struggled economically as the world has changed.
The population is close to 60,000 people. This is down almost ten percent from 2000, when the last census report was taken. Residents are often younger than the average in the rest of the state, and the median household income is significantly lower than the rest of Michigan’s. While the state and local city Detroit have struggled economically, the median income is still $52, 492, while the city’s is only $31,046. This means many residents live on smaller incomes than the rest of the state and the country.
Pontiac’s population is made up of almost 50 percent blacks, 26 percent whites, 18 percent Hispanic and a combination of Asian, Native American, Pacific Islanders and mixed races. The cost of living in Pontiac is much lower than the national average. Pontiac’s index is 87.8 while the country’s is 100. This may help to make up for some of the lower incomes in the city.
Of those 25 and older, less than 80 percent graduate high school and only 12 percent obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher. While the United States has hit a 50 year low when it comes to the unemployment rate at 3.7 percent, the city of Pontiac is much higher at ten percent. The poverty rate of the city is 34.4 percent, with females age 18-24 most likely to be living in poverty. With smaller incomes and a higher unemployment rate, many residents go without basic services they need like health care and mental health care.
Crime rates in Pontiac are extremely high. The city’s index is 510.7 while the United States average is 291.8. Higher crime rates are often associated with neglect, alcohol and drug abuse, poverty and low self-esteem. Many of these things are also linked to mental health, suggesting that there may be a correlation between crime rates, poverty and mental illness.
The county has 284 mental health professionals for every 100,000 people, but many lack the insurance or funds to pay for treatment. The most likely to be insured are males from age 6-17 and females from age 45-54. Unfortunately, the occurrence of mental illness does not follow the trends of who has health insurance and who doesn’t.
Mental Health Resources in Pontiac, Michigan
There are free clinics and community health centers that provide low cost or free mental health care, according to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. Despite the efforts of the city and state to counteract the problems many of the residents face, there is still a huge shortage of psychiatrists and mental health professionals throughout the country and it is often difficult to find help that is available, affordable and convenient.
With so many residents living in poverty and without jobs, it’s not just the treatment that they struggle to pay for. It’s transportation to and from appointments, the cost of prescription drugs and access to affordable childcare. As most mental health treatment plans include some type of regular therapy and medication, it’s difficult for those without resources to stay healthy.
The Challenge of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Pontiac, Michigan
Mental illness can be situational or a lifetime condition. You may be going through a tough time like a divorce a death or a job loss, or you may find that you are chronically depressed or anxious. Every person is different, but the suffering that mental illness brings doesn’t discriminate between race, gender or age. At E-Counseling, we want to help you find a suitable therapist as quickly as possible when you are ready to reach out for help. Browse our directory today to find someone who can help you.