An Overview of Mental Health in Union City, New Jersey
Union City’s nicknames reflect its heritage. “Havana on the Hudson” comes from the waves of Cuban immigrants that settled there after fleeing Communist Cuba in the last fifty years. “The Embroidery Capital of the World,” on the other hand is a relic of the city’s past as home to textile factories and warehouses. The city is slowly transforming, as relatively affordable housing located just 10 to 30 minutes away from Port Authority in Manhattan is attracting millennials and families alike. The city of 70,387 still retains its humble roots, with the majority of the population identifying as Hispanic. For its relatively small size, the city has a few parks, decent public schools and some of the best views of New York City’s skyline.
Mental Health in Union City
There are some unique situations facing Union City. Despite being a relatively tight-knit community, residents may find they need additional support.
- Difficulty Adapting to a New Country: 77% of the residents in Union City speak Spanish as a native language. While the community in Union City is supportive, assimilating to a new country can be difficult.
- Poverty: 23% of Union City’s residents live in poverty. This can have a myriad of health effects which are often left untreated as families try to make ends meet.
- Chronic Health Issues: A New Jersey Health Matters Initiative highlighted poor management of chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and sexually transmitted infections as being a major concern in Hudson County. Managing these illnesses or caregiving for those who are affected can lead to mental health difficulties.
- Teen Mothers: The health initiative also reported that the rate of teen mothers is nearly twice that of New Jersey. This situation can lead to complicated physical and mental health issues.
- Gentrification: Fixing up old homes and buildings to accommodate new residents moving in to the area can provide a boost to the economy. However, if development is not done in a thoughtful way, it can push out long-time residents and store owners. These potential changes could be sources of conflict and stress.
- Suicide: Suicide rates are rising across the US. Hudson County is following a similar trend. Mental health services may be able to help those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or who have a loved one who has died by suicide.
The Challenge of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Union City
New Jersey ranks relatively high as compared to other US states when it comes to providing mental health services for those with a mental illness. However, the ratio of mental health providers in Hudson County is the worst in the state. Not only is there a lack of providers, but many residents are likely to face financial obstacles to obtaining care. 30.3% of residents lack health insurance, and mental health services can be expensive.
Language may also be a hurdle. Even if individuals speak English as a second language, therapy is usually most effective when conducted in a native language.
Non-traditional means of therapy may be able to address both the financial and language barriers to care. Mobile therapy, such as text, phone and online services, may be more affordable and may have a wider range of care providers. Non-profits and community groups may offer payment solutions or free services to residents who qualify.
Mental Health Resources in Union City
Despite these challenging statistics, there are mental health services available to those who live in Union City. Several licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors and licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselors work with clients in the area. Some speak Spanish as well as English which is helpful for the mostly Spanish speaking population.
These counselors have worked in a variety of settings with wide-ranging challenges, symptoms and diagnoses. They have helped people dealing with substance abuse, anxiety, trauma, post-traumatic stress, depression, domestic violence, bipolar, anger management, co-dependency, family conflicts and relationship issues. They draw from a range of methods including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, internal family systems and more.
Find a Therapist in Union City
Union City area residents who want to connect with a qualified mental health professional should check out E-Counseling’s online therapist directory. The professionals included in the list have the experience and knowledge to help anyone who needs a little extra support.