An Overview of Mental Health in Redding, California
Redding is the last “big city” in California before you get to the Oregon border. It’s population of 91,794 lives at the base of misty mountains with Mt Shasta and Lassen Volcanic Park a short 20-minute drive away. Residents settle here for the peaceful and affordable rural lifestyle and easy access to all the breathtaking nature Northern California has to offer. With beautiful trees, parks, waterfalls, lakes and mountains nearly all around, Redding appears to be idyllic from the outside. The city has had some difficulty in recent years, however. Addiction, crime and homelessness rates are on the rise, and it’s becoming more difficult to get a job.
Mental Health in Redding
Among the most common chronic illnesses that Californians have to cope with, mental health ranks high on the list. In addition to depression, anxiety and family troubles, there are numerous issues that are specific to Redding that could affect a person’s mental health.
- Substance Abuse and Addiction: A recent community health needs assessment for Shasta County listed alcohol and drug abuse as the top issue affecting the health of the county. There is an epidemic of heroin abuse among youth which can have devastating effects for addicts and their friends and family. Mental health counseling can help anyone affected by the disease of addiction to process difficult emotions.
- Natural Disaster: Northern California has been severely affected by wildfires which can lead to stress, fear and anxiety in those who have had to evacuate or have lost property or loved ones. Mental health services can help cope with the significant and shocking change that a natural disaster brings.
- Suicide: There is growing awareness around suicide prevention, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255, but suicide continues to escalate in Northern California. Anyone thinking of suicide, or who has a friend of family member who has died by suicide, should seek help.
- Poverty: Redding has a greater percentage of residents living in poverty than the state and country overall. Research indicates that there is a strong causal relationship between poverty and a wide range of mental health issues.
- Disability: 1% of Redding residents under 65 live with a disability. The effects of living with, managing and caring for a disability can take both a mental and physical toll on the individual and their families.
- Religious Extremism: Although religion has helped many people get through difficult times, sometimes extreme views can hurt certain individuals. The presence of a controversial megachurch in Redding may lead some residents to seek mental health care.
Mental Health Resources in Redding
Due to a shortage of mental health resources in the state of California, many adults and children do not receive the help they need. This shortage is projected to get worse. The state is expected to lack between 729 and 1,848 psychiatrists that it needs by 2025 according to research from the California Health Resources and Services Administration.
In Redding, however, there is a diverse range of licensed marriage and family therapists, clinical psychologists and licensed social workers available to work with those in need of support. These counselors draw upon different counseling modalities and have extensive experience helping people through stress, relationship issues, family conflict, self-esteem issues, intimacy-related issues, career difficulties, parenting issues, trauma and abuse, grief and anger management. The counselors also have experience working with clients dealing with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, addictions or eating disorders.
The Challenge of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Redding
In the Shasta County community health needs assessment, the lack of mental health facilities was one of the biggest community health concerns, second only to alcohol and drug abuse. Other factors also make it difficult for residents in Redding to access the mental healthcare they need.
With 18.1% of residents living in poverty and 13.5% without health insurance, many residents likely don’t have the financial means to pay for mental health services. If cost is an issue, it’s worth investigating alternative care models such as online therapy and free or sliding scale services from non-profits and community organizations.
You Can Find Help in Redding
If you or a loved one are looking for support during a difficult time, know that there are resources available. Using E-Counseling’s directory of counselors, you can find a therapist near you can provide the non-judgmental and compassionate care that you or a loved one need.