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An Overview of Mental Health in Rancho Cordova, California
Only incorporating in 2003, Rancho Cordova has been officially known by that name since 1955, with the establishment of a post office. A part of the Sacramento Metropolitan Area in Sacramento County, Rancho Cordova had an estimated population of 69,482 as of 2016. A winner of the All-America City award in 2010, Rancho Cordova nevertheless faces challenges in which mental health plays a factor.
Socioeconomic and Demographic Profile of Rancho Cordova
The poverty rate in Rancho Cordova, California is 16.9 percent, considerably higher than the national rate of 12.3 percent as of 2017. The median household income in Rancho Cordova is $53,360, lower than the medians for Sacramento County ($57,509), the United States ($55,322), and considerably lower than the median for California at $67,783. Approximately 1,100 females age 25-34 live in poverty, making them the largest demographic. Ethnically, 49.6 percent of those living in poverty are white, while 21.9 percent are Hispanic. It is notable that those identifying as Hispanic make up only 19.7 percent of the overall population of Rancho Cordova, while those identifying as white make up 52.3 percent.
Mental Health Statistics in Rancho Cordova
Health care consortium Kaiser Permanente identified access to behavioral health services in Sacramento County as one of its top-prioritized health needs in a 2016 assessment. The report named the following conditions as significant mental health concerns in the area:
- Bipolar disorder
Daily stress caused by difficulties in meeting basic needs, such as housing or food, was also cited by residents as an important health issue.
The report delineated health provider shortage areas to the west and north of Sacramento County, and while Rancho Cordova was not directly affected by these shortages, the report notes that it can be difficult for people throughout the county with moderate mental health issues to find help, except in a crisis situation, due to a lack of preventative mental health care.
Vulnerable Populations in Rancho Cordova
Mental illness does not discriminate, and people of all populations may be affected regardless of age, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. However, there are some populations in Rancho Cordova who are particularly vulnerable.
- The Homeless Population: Homelessness is a major concern throughout Sacramento County. Federally mandated biennial single-night tallies showed a 30 percent increase in the homeless population from 2015 to 2017: 2,882 to 3,665, respectively. There is definitely a correlation between mental illness and homelessness, as 15 percent of the people in California’s public mental health system were homeless at least once in a one-year period and nationwide, 20 to 25 percent of the homeless population suffers from severe mental illness of some form. However, it would be a mistake to assume that mental illness causes homelessness. In many instances, the reverse may be true; becoming homeless may either cause mental illness or exacerbate an existing condition.
- Veterans: Approximately 8 percent of the population of Rancho Cordova have served in the military, which is more than 1.5 times the rate in California (5.2 percent). Veterans in Rancho Cordova are at high risk for mental health disorders, such as PTSD, as well as homelessness. Despite veterans being a targeted population for homelessness prevention, 2017 saw a 50 percent increase in the number of former military members on the streets of Sacramento county.
- Youth: The percentage of children ages 13-18 who currently have or may develop a serious mental illness is 20 percent. Additionally, abuse of drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, pain medications, and tobacco by youth in Sacramento County is of significant concern.
- Women and People of Color: Along with the homeless population, these groups face specific challenges when they have severe mental health issues such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Mental Health Resources in Rancho Cordova
The first step on the road to better mental health is knowing where to go for help. There are several organizations operating in Sacramento County that either provide mental health services themselves or can point you in the right direction:
- California Mental Health Services Authority
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: Sacramento Chapter
- Turning Point Community Programs
- WellSpace Health