An Overview of Mental Health in Redwood City, California
Redwood City is a beautiful, upscale area in Northern California characterized by towering redwoods (hence the name), green lawns, charming neighborhoods and beautiful lakes and ponds. From the outside, Redwood City looks like the perfect place to raise a family, those from the inside would likely be more than willing to agree.
Redwood City residents make significantly more than the average California resident. The median income in the city is a whopping $90,461, which is nearly a third more than the state median. That said, the gender wage gap is very prevalent in the part of California, with women professionals making nearly $20,000 less than their male counterparts. The income inequality in Redwood City is also higher than state average, which is higher than the national average. The poverty rate in Redwood City is 9.1 percent, which is relatively low compared to most California cities.
The homeownership rate in Redwood City is 50.7 percent. Though that is lower than the national homeownership rate, the median property value in Redwood City is $924,300. That is much higher than the median property value in all of California and the United States.
Though these stats may seem like they mean all good things, the truth is that Redwood City residents are just as susceptible to mental illness as anyone else throughout the country. In fact, maybe because of Redwood City’s shiny exterior, the rate of mental illness may be higher than in other, less assuming towns.
Factors That May Contribute to Mental Illness
Unlike in many other U.S. towns, poverty is not a huge concern in Redwood City. There is a strong correlation between poverty and mental disorders, but you may have a hard time making that connection when evaluating mental illness in Redwood City. However, there may be other factors that contribute to emotional and behavioral concerns in the area. Those are as follows:
- Competition: Because of how glamorous the whole town of Redwood appears to be, residents may feel an increased pressure to one-up their neighbors or, if not one-up, at least keep up with them. This can lead to work stress, family stress and monetary stress. It can also cause people to spend money they don’t have, which can lead to debt and other financial concerns.
- Cost of Living: Redwood City’s cost of living score is an outstanding 352.7, which is 26.3 percent higher than San Jose’s, another ritzy city in California. For comparison’s sake, the U.S. average is 100. The high cost of living can cause residents to work longer hours, to sacrifice family and self-time and, in short, wear themselves out.
- Integration: Just 80.1 percent of Redwood City’s residents are U.S. citizens. That is much lower than the 93 percent national average. Integration may make it difficult for some individuals to communicate with others, develop meaningful relationships and find gainful employment. It can also lead to depression and social isolation.
- Wage Discrepancy: The per capita income in Redwood City is $49,693, 40 percent less than the median household income in the area. This shows that there is a huge discrepancy in wages, which can lead to higher poverty rates. As mentioned above, higher poverty rates are associated with higher rates of mental illness.
Health Concerns in Northern California
Pressure to keep up with the Joneses, to fit in and to pay the bills lead to some unique healthcare concerns in this corner of Northern California. Though the numbers are not exact, the factors mentioned above can lead to the following mental health conditions:
- Chronic stress
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Sleep disorders
Though there are not any statistics on suicides in Redwood City, the city’s neighbor, Palo Alto, has some of the highest rates of suicide in all of California. From 2003 to 2014, the suicide rates in Palo Alto were 14.1 per 100,000 individuals. That is more than double the state rate of 5.3 per 100,000 individuals. Again, the pressure to fit in may be the contributing factor.
Find the Help You Need
If you or a loved one lives with mental illness in Redwood City, California, you may feel isolated and at a loss as to what to do. Know that you are not alone, and that with the right resources, you can find the compassionate care you need to get better and begin living your life in earnest. E-Counseling’s directory provides the name of hundreds of counselors near you. Visit the directory today to get on your path to mental wellness.