An Overview of Mental Health in Somerville, Massachusetts
With a population of 79,507, Somerville, Massachusetts is the most densely populated municipality in New England. It is located in Middlesex County, directly northwest of Boston. Somerville was founded in 1629, nearly 150 before the United States became a country, and had a significant part to play in the American Revolution; the theft of colonial gunpowder by British soldiers was one of the first hostile acts of the war and served to spur the colonists on to revolution.
There is some disagreement as to the median household income of Somerville. Some estimate it as high as $93,343, while a more conservative estimate puts it at $78,673. By either measure, however, Somerville is a prosperous community, with a median household income that exceeds the statewide average of $75,297.
The ethnic makeup of Somerville is predominantly white, at approximately 70 percent. The second most common ethnicities are Asian and Hispanic, each with about 10 percent of the population. Approximately 6 percent of the population identifies as black, making it the third most common ethnicity in Somerville.
An Overview of Mental Health in Somerville
From a psychological standpoint, Somerville seems to be a reasonably healthy community. The percentages of serious mental illness or suicidal thoughts, as well as adolescents experiencing major depressive episodes, in Massachusetts has been similar to the national percentages from 2010 to 2014. More than half of adults (53.8 percent) with any mental illness received some kind of treatment during the same timeframe, and 66.7 percent of them found it beneficial.
An area in which Somerville, and the state of Massachusetts generally, can potentially do better is in reaching and treating youth with mental illness. Just over half (50.5 percent) of Massachusetts’ adolescents who experienced a major depressive episode received treatment from 2010 to 2014. While this was higher than the national average of 38.6 percent, 69.5 percent of the children and adolescents who received mental health treatment throughout the United States reported improved functioning as a result. For Massachusetts youth, the percentage was significantly lower at only 49.7 percent.
Factors Affecting Mental Health in Somerville, Massachusetts
The epidemic of opioid abuse has hit Massachusetts hard. The rate of opioid overdose deaths per 100,000 was 29.7 for the state, making it one of the five states most severely affected by the crisis, along with New Hampshire, Maryland, West Virginia, and Ohio. Of individuals in Massachusetts who abuse or are dependent on illicit drugs, a large majority (86.4 percent) do not receive treatment.
Heavy alcohol use is another area of concern in Massachusetts. The annual average for heavy alcohol use among adults aged 21 and older was 7.4 percent from 2010 to 2014, slightly higher than the national average of 6.7 percent. However, the percentage of individuals who do not receive treatment for alcohol dependence in Massachusetts (92.5 percent) is even higher than the percentage of people who do not receive treatment for illicit drug dependence.
Divorce Rate in Somerville, Massachusetts
Massachusetts used to be a state with a reputation for an exceptionally low divorce rate, but that rate is now approximately on par with national averages. While the rate of divorces in Massachusetts has declined over the past 30 to 40 years, the rate of marriages has also declined, yielding a ratio of divorces to marriages that has fluctuated between 35 and 50 percent. As of 2015, the ratio of divorces to marriages was approximately 47 percent, nearly three times what it had been in 1960 (17 percent).
Mental Health Resources in Somerville, Massachusetts
The Massachusetts chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness provides resources to individuals and family members seeking mental health services through its Compass program. NAMI is a good starting point for LGBT+ individuals seeking help as it is a safe zone.
The following are facilities providing mental health services in the Somerville area addressing specific needs.
- Cambridge Health Alliance: Outpatient Counseling and Treatment
- North Charles Mental Health and Addiction Services
- Riverside Community Care: Somerville Mental Health Association
Mental Health Services for Children:
- Franciscan Children’s
- McLean Hospital Child Mental Health Crisis Stabilization Program, a joint effort between McLean and Franciscan Children’s Hospital
- Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston: Pediatric Psychiatry
Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation:
- Column Health
- New Day for Pregnant and Postpartum Women
Another resource available to help you find a counselor or therapist is E-Counseling.com. Its directory is always available to you to help you get in touch with trustworthy professionals located in your area.