An Overview of Mental Health in Thornton, Colorado
Thornton, Colorado is a city in Adams County, located within the Denver metropolitan area. Having been formed in the early 1950s, it is a relatively young community. In the years since, it has quickly grown to become the sixth largest city in Colorado with a population of approximately 137,000 as of 2017.
Healthcare, retail and construction are some of its largest industries, and its unemployment rate of approximately 3% is just under the national average. Its average income level is also well above the national average.
On the other hand, Thornton is not experiencing that same success in terms of mental health care. Like the rest of the state, it is struggling with getting its residents the care they need. It is important to look at this issue closely, while also examining possible reasons for it.
Mental Health Statistics in Colorado
Mental illness and suicide are major problems across the US, but Colorado ranks particularly poorly compared to other states.
Mental Illness Risk Factors in Thornton
Why are Colorado’s mental health stats so poor? Many different factors can figure into the problem. However, there are a few factors local to Thornton and nearby Denver that may help explain the crisis at a more local level.
Thornton is home to a high percentage of minorities, particularly Hispanics, who alone constitute over 30% of the population. Let’s take a look at this specific demographic to demonstrate some of the problems they area experiencing.
- Regardless of ethnicity, 16% of those without a high school degree are in poverty, but taking a closer look at the statistics on education, minorities come in disadvantaged again. While whites have a high school graduation rate of over 95%, Hispanics come in far behind at just under a 68% graduation rate.
- A 2013 health report from the city of Denver revealed that Hispanics were far less likely to seek help than the rest of the population, disproportionately citing reasons such as lack of coverage by their insurance and stigma. However, all three groups reported high concern about the cost of treatment.
Although the passing of the Affordable Care Act helped get many more people covered by insurance, the percentage of people who need mental health treatment has not gone down much since then. Mental health professionals are becoming scarcer, meaning that patients often have long waiting periods to get the help they need. Many psychiatric facilities in the state have also shut down, due to the lack of profit with such high treatment costs.
Resources in Thornton
Even with these difficulties, however, there are still many resources available to you or your loved one: