An Overview of Mental Health in Turlock, California
Founded by a grain farmer in 1871, the city of Turlock, California, has grown into a booming metropolis, rife with opportunity. The town was originally going to be named for its founder, John William Mitchell, but when he declined the honor, the name Turlock was chosen, after an Irish village called Turlough. Turlock, California was briefly mentioned in the movie American Graffiti, and is the hometown of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. But behind its charming history lurks a desperate need for mental health services.
Mental Health Statistics in Turlock, California
In an average year, over 2,000 people are hospitalized in Stanislaus County for mental health-related issues. Of those, nearly half are related to depression. Suicide is responsible for 51 deaths per year, and the likelihood of death by suicide increases with age. This is why it’s important to seek treatment early, and continue for as long as necessary.
Unfortunately with a mere 173 mental health workers per 100,000 people, finding treatment can be very difficult for Turlock residents. Despite much higher rates of mental health hospitalization in urban areas, its often much more difficult to find treatment, as patients may find themselves competing for care among only a handful of therapists.
Difficulties in Finding Mental Health Care in Turlock
With so few mental health professionals available, it can be difficult to find adequate treatment, but that isn’t the only barrier to access. With a median income that rests below both the national average and the statewide average and a poverty rate of 16.3%, financial issues are a significant challenge. Limited awareness of care needs and opportunities can also contribute to the lack of available care.
Financial strain is both a primary cause of mental health complications and a primary barrier to care. Many Turlock residents are forced to allocate so much of their limited funds toward bills and expenses that they leave little room for self-care. With property values nearly 30% higher than the national average, it’s no surprise that over half of Turlock residents rent their homes. This means that an average of just over $1k per month goes toward housing alone. The average commute is approximately 22 minutes, meaning that gas costs take up a significant chunk of change as well. Factor in other expenses such as heating, electricity, internet and phone access, car and household repairs, emergency savings, and food, and you’ll find that the average Turlock paycheck is nearly gone.
Even if insurance will cover the cost of a therapist, many people are unaware that this is an option, or face high deductibles for mental health care that simply don’t fit into their budget. In other cases, coverage may come in the form of reimbursement, forcing people to first pay out of their own pocket, then undergo a lengthy and frustrating process in order to reclaim those funds — funds which might be needed for other expenses in the meantime.
In conjunction with finances, awareness of mental health struggles can be a significant challenge. In many cases, people downplay their own mental health issues because of financial concerns, putting off therapy for years to avoid having to foot the bill. In other cases, people may not be aware they even have a mental illness until it’s become so bad they’ve been hospitalized or worse. Widespread stigma associated with mental health prevents people from speaking out about their own experiences, silencing the voices that could have led someone else to care.
Lack of awareness also contributes to limited access. Little data associated with mental health care translates to a false sense that mental illness isn’t a concern. As a response, hospitals limit their mental health care opportunities, local private care facilities reduce staff, and therapists seek employment elsewhere. Eventually, unless awareness is raised, this can turn into a self-perpetuating spiral that leads to fewer and fewer care opportunities.
Finding Hope for Mental Health Care
Mental health care is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle, but barriers to access prevent so many from receiving treatment. But for those who wish to seek help, there is hope.
Taking care of your mental health is easy with E-Counseling’s therapist directory. Simply type in your hometown for a list of mental health resources available in your area. Starting your mental health journey has never been easier.