The State of Mental Health and Available Care in Riverside, California
Located in the Inland Empire metro area of Southern California, Riverside ranks 12th by population size in the state. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2017 estimates, Riverside boasts a population of a little over 327,000 residents. The city is located approximately 55 miles from downtown Los Angeles, and it is also the county seat for Riverside County.
The Census Bureau reports that the median household income in Riverside is $58,979. While this number is slightly higher than the median for the United States ($55,322), it is lower than the state’s median household income ($63,783). Riverside’s statistics in the categories of persons living in poverty and persons without health insurance are however worse than the averages for both California and the United States. Almost 18% of Riverside’s residents live below the poverty line, compared to 14.3% average for the state and 12.7% average for the country. When it comes to health insurance, over 16% of Riverside’s population is uninsured – almost twice the state’s average of 8.3%.
Mental Health Statistics and Concerns in Riverside, California
In its 2017 “Healthy And Safe Riverside County: Investing in What Works” report, Human Impact Partners correlates socioeconomic factors such as education, work opportunities, housing and insurance to the health and overall quality of life of the population. Going in more detail, the report also quotes the estimates from the California Health Care Foundation that about 1 in 6 Californians has a mental health issue, and about 1 in 20 suffers from a serious mental illness.
The report goes further into exploring the relationship between mental illness and incarceration rates in Riverside County. While only 4.6% of the county’s adults are classified as seriously mentally ill, 10% to 15% of the county’s jail population falls into this category and a staggering 47% are reported as having some type of mental disorder.
Homelessness is another issue closely correlated to mental illness and substance abuse in Riverside County. The Human Impact Partners report states that on any given night there are over 2,100 people who have no place to stay. Out of this homeless population, 33% reported use of drugs, 26% reported use of alcohol, 26% had some type of mental condition, with 19% reporting PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
The report suggests that funds would be better spent on expanding mental health care resources, fighting homelessness, and providing other preventative services in the community instead of adding jail beds and specifically incarcerating citizens with mental disorders.
Mental Health Care Options in Riverside, California
The Riverside County Department of Mental Health website has an extensive list of resources for adults, children and adolescents, seniors, and residents with substance abuse issues. These organizations and clinics provide comprehensive mental health services including assessments, case and recovery management, treatment and medication. There is also a hotline available for Riverside County residents seeking substance abuse support.
Another great resource for Riverside County residents is the It’s Up to Us initiative, which was developed by the Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health with funds from the Mental Health Services Act. The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness about mental health issues in Riverside County and to encourage the community to educate itself about mental health and seek help when needed. An extensive list of local and state resources has been provided on the campaign’s website.
One unique resource is the Peer Navigation Line, where residents can talk to other local community members who are also recovering or dealing with mental health and behavioral issues.
Finding Mental Health Help in Riverside, California
Mental illness, behavioral disorders, and even anxiety, bipolar disorder and depression can greatly affect all aspects of life, including employment, education, and personal relationships. Even though reaching out for help may be difficult, it is imperative to do so, should you or a loved one is suffering mentally or emotionally.
Explore your options by reviewing the resources mentioned in the section above as well as the providers listed in our directory. Select a therapist or clinic that has past experience treating patients with your condition and a good reputation in the community. It is also important to find a provider with whom you feel comfortable discussing personal matters. Successful treatment is based on your ability to trust and open to your therapist about your mental health or emotional struggles. Our mission is to assist the residents of Riverside, California in their path to better mental health.