Guide to Mental Health Resources in Santa Ana, California
The beautiful Californian city of Santa Ana is always teeming with life. It boasts an impressive population of approximately 334,000 residents. That number stands only to increase as time goes on. Santa Ana is best known for being home to the famous Santa Ana Zoo as well as high concentration of interesting museums. However, what many people don’t know is that the popular Orange County town is experiencing a severe mental health crisis. Santa Ana residents are more likely to suffer from a mental illness than many neighboring city’s residents and are far less likely to receive the care they require. This is due to a multitude of reasons, which includes lack of funding and ineffective legislation, vulnerable demographics, stigma, and high crime rates. Let’s examine the reasons behind Santa Ana’s rising mental health issue rate and explain how to find and get in contact with a therapist who can help.
An Overview of Mental Health in Santa Ana, California
According to a study commissioned by the county, there are an estimated 52,500 youths under the age of 18 living in Santa who suffer from a mental health condition. That’s seven percent higher per capita than the rest of the nation. These illnesses can range from depression and eating disorders to schizophrenia and, unfortunately, often go untreated.
The rising population trend is certainly a contributing factor to Santa Ana’s mental health crisis. It’s led to higher rates of incarceration, unemployment, and violent crime; all of which are known to negatively impact the mental health of a population. The poverty rate in Santa Ana, California is significantly higher than that of the rest of America. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 21.5 percent of Santa Ana residents are living below the poverty line more than five points higher than the national average. Adults that fall below the poverty line are at a much higher risk of being diagnosed with a mental illness. Many are dealing with lack of access to appropriate care, as well as decreased productivity and poor general health.
Divorce is one of the most impactful events a person can go through regarding mental health. This is true for all parties involved, including children. Divorce is heavily associated with anxiety and depression as well as substance abuse. Santa Ana, California has an abysmally high divorce rate of 72 percent, more than 20 percent higher than the national average. This means a great deal of children living in the area are going to be the product of divorce, making them statistically more vulnerable to mental illness and substance abuse. The best solution to divorce and separation is avoidance. If you fear that your relationship is in trouble, it’s recommended you seek proper counseling to aid the situation. Think of the future mental health of yourself, your partner, and your children before deciding on separation.
Speaking of vulnerable demographics, Santa Ana has high rates of two more distinct vulnerable populations: homeless individuals and seniors.
The number of poverty-stricken and homeless people in Santa Ana is continuing to increase despite many attempts on behalf of non-profits and the local government. To give an idea of the correlation between homelessness and mental health, mental illness was the third most common cause of homelessness for single adults. Furthermore, mental illness affects roughly 12% of homeless families. As the economic situation of many Californians worsens, so does the state of their mental health.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Santa Ana, California
Unfortunately, a majority of those living with a mental illness in Santa Ana will not receive treatment. Finances are already stretched thin for many in the city, so raised insurance premiums don’t help accessibility. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in four residents of Santa Ana is uninsured. For these people, the cost of treatment is out of pocket. And, given Santa Ana’s low per capita income level, the price of counseling rules it out of the question altogether.
Legislation like the Affordable Care Act (ACA) attempted to rectify the health insurance debacle. It expanded coverage to beneficiaries of Medi-Cal, a program designed to aid low-income individuals. According to the numbers, there was some improvement over the years, but nothing meaningful. And, in turn, premiums for those not covered by the program have increased drastically, making it harder for everyday Californians to afford health insurance.
Additionally, only 51 percent of mentally ill children in Santa Ana will get treated. The number varies by area, with the neighboring city of Irvine being 71 percent.
Mental Health Resources in Santa Ana, California
Local recognition of the mental health crisis has sparked the need for more institutions that specialize in assisting those affected. The Mental Health Association of Orange County offers a wide array of mental health services catered to those in Santa Ana. There are also non-profits servicing the community in similar ways like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), who provide emotional support programs and treatment resources.
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