An Overview of Mental Health in Rochester Hills, Michigan
Rochester Hills is a city of about 74,200 people, according to estimated figures published by the United States Census Bureau. It is located in the northeast section of Oakland, a county that resides in the southeast region of Michigan state. Though not necessarily known for bustling industry or commercial activity, the city’s rates of poverty and unemployment (each just over 5% as of 2017) both fall well below national averages in the U.S. (about 14% and 12% respectively). Like all cities, however, the residents of Rochester Hills do face their share of challenges from the standpoint of mental health.
The city’s geographic location plays a large part in its typical weather, which is generally colder and more overcast when compared to average U.S. expectations. Separately, Rochester Hills also has challenges in terms of drug abuse; reports published in 2018 showed an alarming rate of fatalities resulting from overdose incidents. When viewed together, it’s clear to see that although this Michigan city boasts a largely successful population, many within it do experience distinct mental health difficulties.
The Climate’s Influence on Mood and Mentality
In recent years, more focus has been placed on the effects of weather and climate-related factors with respect to mental health. Often, concerns are centered on more extreme winter elements and a lack of sunlight, the latter of which in particular has been attributed to depressive moods in many people. In more severe cases, insufficient amounts of sunlight can even result in diagnosis of a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Persons with SAD tend to experience depressive symptoms when the amount of available sunlight is limited. It’s thought that diminished serotonin levels contribute to this condition, as well as lowered levels of vitamin D. Regardless of the science, it appears likely that SAD plays a very real part in many populations’ overall dispositions.
Rochester Hills faces an uphill battle when discussing this particular problem, as reflected by some of its core climate statistics:
- The city experiences about 8.5 more inches of snowfall per year than the U.S. on average (34.2 citywide versus 25.8 nationwide).
- The U.S. averages about 205 sunny days annually; by comparison, Rochester Hills experiences only about 179 such days—less than half of the calendar year overall.
- A local UV index of 3.2 is decidedly lower than the 4.3 national norm.
While overexposure to ultraviolet light is thought to be harmful in most cases, too little exposure does not appear to be ideal either.
The Dangers of Addiction
Another frequent talking point in many parts of America is the frequency of powerful opioids being prescribed for pain management. This development has been classified in numerous ways by many different media entities: as a public health threat, an epidemic or even a genuine crisis. Regardless of how you choose to regard the situation, statistics clearly show a large spike of overdose deaths stemming from synthetic opioid use in the 21st century.
Rochester Hills’ home county is, unfortunately, not exempt from this phenomenon. An article published by the Oakland Press in August of 2018 notes that drug overdoses far outpaced homicides and traffic-related fatalities in 2017. When observing data that extends as far back as 2008, it also becomes evident that the divide is becoming worse year by year.
Help is Available Near Rochester Hills
While any city’s challenges can illustrate a bleak or even overwhelmingly negative picture, it’s important to recognize the beneficial resources that are available. Oakland County is home to a number of clinics and outreach organizations, including:
- Common Ground, a group offering crisis intervention and recovery assistance to both children and adults, 24 hours a day, every day.
- HAVEN provides help to individuals who have been affected by domestic and sexual violence.
- Easter Seals of Michigan offers an array of services, ranging from family and child-focused programs to those geared toward adults, seniors and veterans.
Additional Mental Health Resources
Every individual has his or her own distinct needs, and finding the right type of mental health assistance is essential to a smooth recovery process. The E-Counseling directory was made with this very need in mind, and is designed to help connect people with qualified therapists in their areas. Give it a try today and begin on your path to a better tomorrow.