An Overview of Mental Health in San Rafael, California
Located in the northern part of the San Francisco Bay Area, San Rafael is the county seat of Marin County in California. Most recent estimates put the population at 59,070 as of 2017. San Rafael was founded as a Spanish mission in 1817 and later became a center for the entertainment industry, attracting filmmakers and software developers who later gained nationwide recognition.
Livability, Demographic Data, and Socioeconomic Profile
San Rafael merits a moderate livability score, ranking high for amenities, weather, and employment but with low rankings for housing, education and crime. Where San Rafael ranks the lowest is cost of living, which is 38 percent higher than in the rest of California.
The low ranking for education in San Rafael, based on its rate of high school graduation, may not tell the whole story, however. Nearly half of adult residents in San Rafael, 49.6 percent, hold a bachelor’s degree, which is exceptionally high compared to the United States’ percentage of 30.9 percent.
Demographically, over half of San Rafael’s residents, 56.7 percent, identify as white, while almost one-third, 29.4 percent, identify as Hispanic. Approximately 6 percent are Asian, and 2.4 percent are black. Female residents slightly outnumber male residents, 50.2 percent and 49.8 percent, respectively.
Home values in San Rafael are nearly twice what they are in California at large, $860,288 compared to $477,500. The median household income in San Rafael is $81,360 per year, higher than the medians for the United States and California but lower than the median for Marin County, which is $100,310 per year. Despite the prosperity, however, San Rafael also has a poverty rate of 14.5 percent, which is higher than the national rate of 12.3.
Access to Mental Health Care in Marin County
While some areas in California are experiencing a shortage of mental health providers, Marin County is not one of them. In fact, there are more than 650 mental health providers for every 100,000 people in Marin County. To put it another way, for every 148 people in Marin County, there is one mental health professional to serve them.
Here is how the 650-plus figure breaks down. The following statistics are per 100,000 residents, and each is well above its corresponding statewide average for California.
- Marriage and Family Therapists: 341.71
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers: 119.29
- Psychologists: 145.98
- Psychiatrists: 62.76
Statistics show that people in Marin County are taking advantage of the access as well. The same study showed that 14.8 percent of adults in Marin County saw a mental health specialist in the preceding year, which was higher than the statewide benchmark.
Factors Affecting Mental Health in San Rafael
Due to the high number of mental health providers in the area, San Rafael is well equipped to address its challenges in regard to mental health. Two or more of these factors may occur together.
- Divorce: The divorce rate in Marin County is 14.04 percent, which is very high compared with other counties in the Greater Bay Area. There is likely a correlation between the high divorce rate and the large number of marriage and family therapists practicing in the area.
- Poverty: Statewide, nine percent of adults and 10 percent of children living below the poverty line experience serious mental illness or serious emotional disturbance, respectively. There is also a racial/ethnic discrepancy when it comes to poverty. People who identify as Hispanic/Latino account for 39.7 percent of San Rafael residents living in poverty despite the fact that they make up only 29.4 percent of the total population.
- Youth: Between 2014 and 2015, 12.3 percent of adolescents in California reported having experienced a major depressive episode in the preceding year, compared with 11.9 percent of adolescents across the United States and 5.9 percent of California adults. At 7.1 percent, there are more children in the Bay Area with SED than there are adults with SMI (3.4 percent), though both of these figures are lower than the California average.
- Substance Abuse/Risky Behaviors: Marin County shows above-average prevalence of excessive drinking and HIV diagnoses.