An Overview of Mental Health in Sugar Land, Texas
In the United States, mental health is a national issue. Every state is dealing with its own problems contributing to the overall crisis facing the country. Texas is one state with a particularly poor record in terms of mental health care.
Mental Health in Texas
Mental Health America created a ranking system for the 50 states (plus Washington DC) to show where each state stands in its handling of various aspects of mental health.
- In terms of adult mental health, Texas came in at 25, while ranking at only 46 in youth mental health.
- The state ranked well in terms of prevalence of mental illness at number 4, meaning that there is a low rate of individuals with a mental health issue.
- However, it ranked at a 50 in terms of mental health care access, with a ranking of 43 overall.
There are a variety of factors that contribute to these primarily poor rankings. In one report, Texas came in at number 48 in terms of amount spent on mental health at only about $40 per capita. For comparison, the same report listed the national average amount at almost $120, and Maine with the highest at over $345.
Like the rest of the nation, Texas is also facing a shortage of mental health professionals. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that as of 2017, the state would need to add over 430 mental health care providers to meet the demand. When there is a low patient-to-doctor ratio, those who need care are commonly faced with long wait times.
Handling Mental Illness in Sugar Land
While the state is struggling overall, there are some areas that are making improvements at the local level. One city making some advancements is Sugar Land in Fort Bend County.
Sugar Land is a part of the Houston metropolitan area and home to 88,485 residents. Its economy is focused on wholesale trade, natural resources and science and technology services. The median income in 2017 was $108,994, and the per capita income was $51,204. The poverty rate was 6 percent, and in 2015 the unemployment rate was 3.6 percent.
In many areas, Sugar Land does seem to be doing better than the rest of the state. From 2007 to 2009, Fort Bend County had 6.9 suicides per 100,000 people, the lowest in the area and almost half as many as Texas overall at 11.4 suicides per 100,000 people.
Although the state funding for mental illness is low, Sugar Land has been making good use of its allocated share. The Fort Bend County police department used some of that funding to create a new program called crisis intervention team or CIT. Members of the team accompany government workers or healthcare professionals during situations that may turn out to be unsafe. They use their training to de-escalate the situation, many of which may have otherwise ended up in the arrest of an unstable individual. So far, the program has seen great results.
The city has also started other new programs, such as helping newly released inmates reacclimate to life outside of prison, as well as efforts to prevent crime among local youth who deal with a mental illness.
Resources in Sugar Land
Even when there are resources available, it can still be challenging to find them if you or a loved one is in need of them. Sometimes it can be hard to speak out about our struggles with mental health, and sometimes the stigma still surrounding the subject can be troublesome to break through. However, there are services available to help.
Another resource that may be very helpful to you is E-Counseling. It is an online directory site created to help you search for a mental health professional in your area who matches up with your individual treatment needs and goals. You don’t have to struggle alone. You can take the first step toward a healthier you today.