An Overview of Mental Health in Sanford, Florida
Situated near beautiful Lake Monroe, Sanford, Florida offers visitors and residents alike views of pristine lakeside beaches, warm Florida sun and excellent areas for outdoor activities. A quick stroll through town makes it clear why 57,000 residents call this city their home. However, Sanford is not without its problems. Learn how many in the area struggle with mental illness and find out how you can find a local, experienced therapist for you or a loved one.
Mental illness is a concern throughout the nation. Approximately 44.7 million adults suffer from a mental illness as of 2016. While there are many mental health resource providers located all across the nation, more than 40 percent of adults with mental illness did not receive treatment.
Statewide, the issue is quickly growing. 21 percent of adults aged 26-49 in Florida live with a mental illness. Of those individuals, roughly 70 percent aren’t able to access resources and treatment.
Seminole County, home to Sanford, has its share of health and mental health issues as well. There were 71 cases of suicide throughout the county in 2016, while only 28 cases of homicide. Individuals who experience depression and other mental health issues are at greater risk of suicide.
Contributing Factors to Mental Illness
To better understand the individual cases and general rates of mental illness throughout the nation, state and city of Sanford, here are a few common factors that increase the risk of mental illness. There isn’t usually a single cause of mental illness, but each of these risk factors can be linked together to increase the likelihood of mental illness:
- Dysfunctional family situation
- Sudden and significant changes in life
- Strong cultural or social pressure
- Severe emotional and psychological trauma, such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse
- Loss of a loved one
- Extreme neglect
- Lack of relation to others
- Prenatal harm
- Brain injury
Many of the environmental risk factors are present in Sanford and throughout Seminole County, particularly poverty. Sanford has a poverty rate of 22.2 percent, which is far higher than the county average of 11.7 percent. This means that the city suffers a disproportionate lack of jobs and household income. The median household income in Sanford is lower than the national average, at just $39,989.
Another factor that strongly related to poverty is homeownership. Without a home, many residents may not be able to find a secure place to live. There are many places to rent in the surrounding area, but a low homeownership rate could lead to a higher rate in homelessness. 52.5 percent of residents own a home in Sanford.
In 2017, there were 75,781 dissolutions of marriages in Florida, which includes both divorces and annulments. Divorce can be an emotionally traumatic event to both the individuals going through the divorce, as well as friends and family members. All affected individuals could experience severe emotional trauma or feelings of abandonment, which are risk factors for mental health issues like depression, anxiety and other illnesses.
Finally, alcohol and substance abuse are strongly linked to emotional distress and mental health issues. The excessive alcohol prevalence throughout the county is 18 percent of all adults. 23.7 Floridians out of every 100,000 died in 2016 due to drug overdose. Depression is often linked with alcohol and drug use, but these addictions can often be separate from mental illness or a sign of another severe mental health issue.
Each of these factors are highly interrelated. Many individuals who experience one may experience another, and mental health issues can both be caused by these issues or cause these issues to affect an individual. If you see any of these warning signs in a loved one, don’t wait to contact a local therapist or mental health professional for assistance.
Finding a Therapist in Sanford Today
Whether you’ve struggled to find a therapist in your area or you’ve been unsure of the resources available, there’s an excellent way to quickly find the help you need. Use the E-Counseling directory today to compare local, qualified therapists and mental health workers. Discover the resources available to you in Sanford and throughout Seminole County. Don’t wait to find hope and healing for you or someone you know.