Mental Health Professionals San Diego
The fifth most populous county in the United States, San Diego County has a population of 3 million people according to the 2009 U.S. Census. As with any large city, addressing the mental health needs of its residents can be a daunting task. According to the San Diego Health and Human Service Agency, between 40,000- 45,000 adults were seen by the county’s mental health providers during the year 2014. The following is a brief profile of the challenges faced by San Diego as well as some the innovative ways they are meeting those challenges.
During the period of 2009-2015, the police agencies of San Diego County experienced an 84% spike in calls related to individuals with mental health issues, even though there was only a 5% increase in the county’s population during that same period of time. 9-11 operators, and other authorities, received 17,300 calls in 2009. By 2015, they had received 31,700 calls. The source of the increase has not yet been determined, though some suspect that it may be partially due to easier access to methamphetamines and changes in sentencing guidelines for jail time.
Access to Service
According to a study, most residents of San Diego County, who seek mental health services, do so in a variety of treatment settings. The conclusion of the study recommended that these consumers of mental health services would benefit if access to services were streamlined. Without such a process, the healthcare of people who have serious mental illness lacks continuity.
Tri-City Medical Center serves the North Coastal portion of San Diego County. It plans to significantly cut back on providing emergency psychiatric services in its two mental health units. Their decision has been met with a great deal of criticism by advocacy groups, law enforcement, and local government as it is the only provider of such services in the North Coastal area. Officials of Tri-City cite changes in federal regulations that would require it to invest $3 million to meet safety standards. They also point to a $5 million operating loss last year and staffing issues due to a shortage of psychiatrists.
- It is estimated that 5% of the population of San Diego County has a serious mental illness. This figure is higher for low-income residents where 8% are inflicted with a serious mental illness.
- Being a military town, San Diego’s veterans are a vulnerable population. The Veterans Administration San Diego Healthcare System indicates that 20,000 veterans have received care for post-traumatic stress disorder since 2010.
- With the highest recidivism rate for any California city, San Diego’s inmates and ex-offenders constitute another vulnerable population for mental health disorders. It’s estimated that 64% of its inmates have mental health issues. In contrast, it is determined that 56% of state inmates and 45% of federal inmates have mental health disorders.
- San Diego County expects to see its elderly population double by 2030. Currently, one-fifth of its elderly population experiences depression. Depression is even more frequently found for elderly individuals who have heart disease, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s disease.
San Diego’s Mental Health Resource Center (MHRC) addresses both educational and mental health needs of dual diagnosis students in the San Diego Unified School District. From a medical perspective, dual diagnosis refers to individuals who have mental illness with a co-occurring substance abuse problem. From the educational aspect, dual diagnosis applies to students who have an intellectual or developmental disability and a co-occurring mental health problem.
MHRC partners with mental health providers and develops evidence-based programs that are school-based. Both students and their families work with the multi-disciplinary team that is composed of licensed mental health clinicians, school psychologists, school counselors, psychiatrist, and behavioral rehabilitation specialist. Further, the therapeutic team consists of a multicultural staff.
Another innovative approach by San Diego is to extend its outreach to the public. Through a partnership between San Diego County Public Libraries and San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency, library patrons can receive information about no-cost services for mental health, housing, and other social services. The service is available to anyone who is 18 years or older and is particularly popular with the homeless population.
The San Diego Foundation has partnered with the University of California in San Diego to address depression and mood disorders. It is hoped that, through the coordination of services, the County will improve the treatment outcome of its residents.
The therapist directory located above was created by E-Counseling so that our visitors would access to mental health therapists in San Diego and other parts of the nation. All therapist listed in the directory are trusted professionals. Please make the use of it for your therapy needs.