Overview of Mental Health Care in Sterling Heights Michigan.
Sterling Heights situated in Macomb County Michigan approximately 16 miles from central Detroit. Between 2015 and 2018 there have been nearly $30 Million in cuts to Mental Health Services in Macomb County, Michigan. The cuts were due to the way state funding formula to determine funding changed due to Michigan’s regional funding redistribution program. These cuts have said to have caused a spike in violent crimes perpetrated by people suffering from untreated mental illness or substance addiction. Cuts to mental health services have shifted the duty of care to emergency rooms, community hospitals, law enforcement agencies as well as the families and carers of those affected. Without adequate support, those caring for the mentally ill may experience higher levels of stress, anxiety, worry, and depression. The cuts have also caused a spike in suicide rates with local news documenting a spate of copycat suicides. From August to October 2018 there have been three separate incidents of mentally ill people jumping off an overpass located in the town.
Mental health resources in Sterling Heights
In the event of a mental health crisis, the Macomb County Emergency Response Group crisis team advise people to travel to the nearest hospital with a psychiatric care unit. The behavioral center of Michigan, located in Warren treats acute psychiatric cases where the patient is threatening to harm themselves or others. (The Behavioral Center of Michigan, 2007) Psychiatric services for non life-threatening mental health problems like substance abuse, autism and child emotional disturbances are available from the Macomb County Community Mental Health department.
There are some psychiatric and counseling services on offer ranging from traditional talking therapies to an organization that provides people with service dogs trained to treat conditions such as depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
Socioeconomic factors and their impact on mental health in Sterling Heights.
According to the census 12.6% of people living in Sterling Heights live below the poverty line. These figures are above the US overall poverty rate of 12.3%. Therefore poverty disproportionately affects those living in Sterling Heights. Poverty can be both the cause and the consequence of mental illness as it is often co-morbid with pressure points and transitions throughout life; homelessness, redundancy and family breakdown are all causes and effects of poverty and can coexist with mental illness. The psychological burden of poverty-induced worry and stress placed on the brain can make it harder to study, learn new skills or search for a new job. The stress caused by poverty can also limit a person’s attention span, causing them to dismiss positive, goal orientated lifestyle choices in favor of short-sighted, risky decisions. Negative lifestyle choices can adversely affect and individual’s economic and mental state.
Sterling Heights is home to many first and second generation immigrant communities. Although the prevalence of common mental illness is usually lower in immigrant communities than in the general population, over time the instances of mental illness can reach similar levels to those seen in the general population. Many immigrants to Sterling Heights are refugees; trauma, fear, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety can adversely affect refugee communities. However pre-existing conventions within immigrant communities coupled with changing immigration policies can prove to be a barrier to accessing mental health services. Immigrant communities may also be at a significant disadvantage navigating the US’s often complex mental health system. The treatment of mental illness also varies from culture to culture, and cultural sensitivities can often influence what type of help a person receives. Often these barriers can be overcome and the outcomes improved with the use of trained interpreters and culture brokers to help overcome linguistic and cultural differences. However, with Sterling Height’s limited budget such services are scarce.
Environmental and geographic factors.
Tornado activity in Sterling Heights is 21% greater than the overall US average. A survey of tornado survivors carried out in April 2011 discovered that in the wake of a violent tornado 66% of affected individuals require crisis counseling and a further 21% of affected individuals will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, long after the disaster. consequences of bad weather. However, adverse weather, particularly tornadoes can impact Stress, anxiety, acute stress reaction and the ability to self-regulate.
Difficulties of finding a counselor in Sterling Heights
Mental health is a complex and nuanced subject. Almost everyone will have a mental illness at some point. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to find a counselor with the skills, knowledge, and sensitivity to deal with the complex array social, cultural or existential factors that influence a person’s mental well-being. In communities that have been ravaged by cuts to mental health funding, it is even more unlikely that we will find the right counselor when we need them the most, making online therapy a great option for those in need of help.