An Overview of Mental Health in South Gate, California
South Gate, California is the 17th largest city in Los Angeles County and lies within 7 miles of downtown Los Angeles. With a population of nearly 100,000, its citizens are 95.3 percent Hispanic, 3.09 percent White and 0.72 percent Black. 89.3 percent of the city’s residents speak a language other than English. Nearly 25 percent are not U.S. citizens.
South Gate recently created a vibrant new branding image for the community. The contemporary logo is a dimensional, interlocked circle joining the city’s initials. The unified shape represents South Gate’s pride in the surrounding city’s energy, strength and development.
One of the city’s outstanding citizens, Amelia Earhart, learned to fly in a South Gate field in 1922. South Gate’s new identity is an apt metaphor of both Amelia Earhart’s attempt to circumnavigate the globe and the unification of the city’s two initials into one. The dynamics of flying free and becoming whole symbolize a state of mental health that all South Gate residents deserve. Unfortunately, those who suffer from the fragmentation and pressure of mental illness may not see a way out.
Barriers to Mental Health Services in South Gate
South Gate’s predominantly Hispanic population is vulnerable to a series of unique cultural issues, which make it difficult to obtain mental health services.
- Low mental health provider ratios There are only 272 mental health professionals in the South Gate area for every 100,000 residents.
- Communication problems arise because the majority of providers do not offer services in non-English languages.
- Hispanics are less likely to seek help due to poverty or the inability to qualify for health insurance.
- Fear of deportation is a real concern that causes many Hispanics who live in South Gate without U.S. citizenship papers to forego treatment.
- Homeless people represent an untreated mental health epidemic in Los Angeles County. Mental illness affects over 25 percent of the homeless.
- Divorce can cause depression, anxiety and a descent into poverty. Divorce rates in South Gate are 4 percent male and 5 percent female, about half that of Los Angeles County’s 8 percent. Divorce counseling could help.
South Gate’s rate of violent crime is higher than 91 percent any other state in the nation.
Crime rates both result from and cause mental illness. This realization gives hope to families whose loved ones act out. There is a way to help them.
Discrimination in the Health Care System
Within the South Gate area health system, the bureaucracy of complicated paperwork and documentation intimidates non-English speakers. The safety net of medical facilities and hospitals that once provided treatment for the poor, homeless or non-citizen mentally ill population has become overwhelmed. Many safe harbor providers no longer remain open. Discriminatory practices within the health care system stigmatize minority groups, along with those in need of financial or social services who try to get help for their mentally ill loved ones. Poverty groups are routinely marginalized.
Mental Health Resources for South Gate
The Mental Health Services Act passed in 2004. Its purpose was to boost resources for county mental health programs in California. Realizing the underfunding that exists for ethnic services, MHSA created a group of advisors drawn from mental health and community advocates to empower ethnic populations.
MHSA has developed goals for the entire age spectrum. Program components address the needs of families, children, young people, adults and elders. An important feature is MHSA’s commitment to intervention, training, technology, prevention and the infrastructure to support these long-term goals.
South Gate Mental Health Services Are Available
The e-counseling directory represent many types of mental health therapy: Divorce counseling, help for addiction, depression, anxiety, PTSD, C-PTSD and more. Services are available for adult, geriatric, family or pediatric treatment needs. E-Counseling also helps people to locate therapists who are fluent in languages other than English. People also use E-Counseling to find on-line providers for an effective, low-cost alternative to traditional counseling.
E-Counseling is an excellent resource to help South Gate residents navigate the full range of available resources. The city and county directory lists mental health providers who have the training and certification to meet the highest professional standards.
Successful treatment of mental illness is possible. E-Counseling can help South Gate citizens fly free and be whole.