An Overview of Mental Health in Santa Maria, California
Just 65 miles from Santa Barbara and 150 miles from Los Angeles, Santa Maria, California has garnered a favorable reputation in its own right. Located alongside “The Golden State’s” Central Coast, Santa Maria is renowned for its wineries, breweries, dining, shopping, arts, entertainment, and recreation.
Between Santa Maria and cities such as Lompoc and San Luis Obispo (just a 30-minute drive away), residents and tourists alike can visit 13 beaches year-round as well as participate in horseback riding, hiking, and bicycling.
However, 365 days of warm and mostly sunny weather cannot combat the symptoms of mental illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia. Fortunately, Santa Maria and neighboring cities have a variety of mental health care providers.
Poverty and Mental Illness in Santa Maria, California
As of July 2017, Santa Maria had 107,014 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While Santa Maria’s annual median household income level is $51,939, nearly 21% of Santa Maria residents live in poverty. This is significantly higher than the U.S. average of 12.3%, and slightly higher than the California average of 19%. Unfortunately, California has the highest poverty rate in the United States.
Poverty and mental illness have a multifaceted relationship, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). People who live in poverty often experience more severe symptoms of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
Mental illness does not discriminate depending upon one’s income level; the day-to-day tasks of life can and do worsen symptoms among people from all social and economic classes. However, people in poverty often struggle to obtain or maintain food, affordable housing, and appropriate healthcare. Such struggles combined with a mental illness can make it much more difficult for someone to comply with treatment even when it is offered.
Poverty also makes it more probable that a person will experience a serious mental illness, according to SAMHSA. It is also worth noting that everyone — regardless of educational or socioeconomic background — has an increased risk of eventually living in poverty once symptoms of a mental illness are present.
Mental Health Statistics for Santa Maria, California
According to a report from the American Psychological Association, the entire state of California has 11,000 active psychologists — the largest number in the United States. Generally, a large number of active psychologists and other mental health professionals indicates that mental illness is prevalent throughout that state; this is clearly the case for California.
According to SAMHSA’s California Behavioral Health Barometer for 2015, the state has mental illness prevalence rates that are close to the national average. California’s percentage of major depressive episodes among children ages 12-17 in 2013-14 were 11.5% — only half a percentage point higher than the U.S. average of 11% for the same period. The national and state averages for serious mental illnesses among adults for the same period showed a similar trend at 3.8% and 4.2%, respectively.
Mental Health Resources for Santa Maria, California
A SAMHSA online search engine lists four facilities in Santa Maria that offer inpatient and outpatient mental health services for children and adults. Santa Maria also has eight facilities that focus on substance abuse treatment.
It appears some Santa Maria residents may also visit neighboring cities such as Arroyo Grande (approximately 14 miles away), Grover Beach (approximately 15 miles away), Lompoc (approximately 21 miles away), and San Luis Obispo (approximately 25 miles away) for their mental health treatment. SAMSHA lists two additional mental health treatment options in Lompoc. There are 11 additional substance abuse treatment choices offered within a 25-mile radius of Santa Maria.
Some of the inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment services available in Santa Maria and neighboring cities offer low-cost or free treatment to people with low income and/or no insurance. It is always worth asking for payment options, especially when visiting a center in which multiple counselors, therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists work.
Challenges of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Santa Maria, California
This website is dedicated to helping people in Santa Maria, California and every other U.S. city find the best mental health treatment possible.
While your employer or health insurer likely has a referral service, you are likely to end up frustrated after hours of completing rather personal forms. More often than not, providers recommended by your employer or health insurer have few or no appointments.
Our directory helps you find a therapist in or near Santa Maria, California. We provide mental health resources for residents of Santa Maria, California who would like to have therapy or another type of service from a mental healthcare professional.