An Overview of Mental Health in Royal Oak, Michigan
A suburb of Detroit, Royal Oak is a city of approximately 59,000 people as of 2017 population estimates. It is located in Oakland County and warrants a high livability score on the basis of housing, employment, education, crime, and amenities in the area. Its amenities, as well as its proximity to the Detroit metropolitan area, draws multitudes of motorcycle enthusiasts to downtown Royal Oak during the summer every year.
A Slice of Life in Royal Oak, Michigan
Royal Oak is a remarkably well-educated city. The percentage of adults with a high school diploma is 96.4 percent, higher than the national percentage of 87.3 percent. Even more impressive, more than half of the adults in Royal Oak, 56 percent, hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Most cities hover right around the national benchmark of 30.9 percent, but Royal Oak far exceeds it.
Royal Oak is also a fairly prosperous city. It has a low poverty rate of approximately 7 percent, compared with the national percentage of 12.3 percent. As of 2016, the median household income in Royal Oak was $68,504, higher than the national median of $55,322 and the Michigan statewide median of $50,803. Estimated median home value in Michigan as of 2016 was $147,100; in Royal Oak it was $205,300 for the same year.
The crime rate in Oakland County is quite low, especially compared with Wayne County to its south, with a rate of 3.4 homicides per 100,000 people in 2017 and 195.5 other violent crimes. The overall crime index in Royal Oak is very low compared the national average.
However, one area where Royal Oak falls short is in diversity. Approximately 87 percent of the population identifies as white. The next most populous racial demographics are Asian Americans and African Americans with 3.8 percent and 3.3 percent of the population, respectively. People identifying as Hispanic/Latino make up 2.6 percent of the population.
Mental Health Statistics in Royal Oak
It is very difficult to find mental health statistics pertaining specifically to Royal Oak, or even to Oakland County. At the statewide level, depression and/or anxiety are among the most prevalent chronic diseases diagnosed in Michigan, second only to hypertension. A study published in 2013 uncovered the following statistics as it relates to mental health in Michigan:
- The number of respondents who reported ever having received a diagnosis of anxiety and/or depression was one in four.
- The prevalence of Michiganders ever diagnosed with depression was 20 percent, higher than the national percentage of 18 percent.
- The average number of days when poor mental health interfered with normal activities was five, approximately twice the reported number of days that other chronic conditions, such as asthma, coronary artery disease, diabetes, or hypertension, interfered with normal activities. However, it is not clear whether this figure represents five poor mental health days per month or per year.
Access to Care in Royal Oak
According to the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan, the state’s public mental health system is one of the most advanced and comprehensive in the country. However, it has struggled to in recent years due to underfunding, resulting in a system that is inadequate to meet the growing demand for mental health services.
The CMHA claims that the Michigan state government has failed to meet federal requirements for funding the public mental health system risk reserves for over 20 years, as well as inappropriately demanding that the Medicaid gap be closed with the use of county funds, leaving local systems drained. Inadequate funding has caused closures of mental health facilities throughout the state for at least the past 25 years.
In Royal Oak there is one mental health provider for approximately every 352 citizens. This makes Royal Oak one of the cities in the state with the best access to care. Nevertheless, nearly half of primary care physicians in the area still report that access to mental health services in the region is inadequate to meet the need:
- 48 percent of Royal Oak primary care physicians report inadequate access to substance abuse services
- 49 percent of Royal Oak primary care physicians report inadequate access to child mental health services
- 43 percent of Royal Oak primary care physicians report inadequate access to adult mental health services