An Overview of Mental Health in Vista, California
The San Diego metropolitan area in California is home to a cluster of suburbs, including the city of Vista. Its location near the Pacific Ocean and pleasant, temperate climate ensure that its approximately 101,600 residents can spend plenty of time outside year-round.
There seems to be a good number of jobs to go around in Vista, which had an unemployment rate of 4.1% in 2015 – lower than the state average of 5.5%. The city has a good hold in the industries of healthcare, retail and manufacturing.
While Vista has some great things going for it, every city has its own struggles. Despite its relatively low unemployment rate, 17% of residents live in poverty. For comparison, a recent national poverty estimate was only 12.3%. Poverty puts individuals in danger of many problems, such as homelessness and poor health. Perhaps slightly less obvious is its correlation with mental health, which is a prevailing issue across the nation. Each state has its own problems with mental illness, and California is no exception.
- Mental Health America ranks California at number 23 in terms of prevalence of mental illness, putting the state on the healthier half of the list. However, MHA puts California at number 31 when it comes to access to care, suggesting that while the state has an average occurrence of mental illness, those who are suffering may not be receiving the care they need.
- California has a below-average track record when it comes to taking care of its mentally-ill youth. A report from the California Healthcare Foundation stated that two-thirds of adolescent residents did not receive treatment for mental health problems.
Mental Illness Risk Factors
There are many elements that come together to shape an issue like mental illness, especially in a state as large and varied as California. However, it is possible to focus on an area like Vista to analyze the local issues which contribute to the state’s overall problem.
As previously stated, Vista has a relatively high poverty rate. Poverty and mental illness commonly coexist, and it isn’t uncommon for one to contribute to the other. In fact, the rate of mental illness in residents of San Diego was 5% in 2014, while that percentage was 8% in low-income residents.
Severe mental illness can prevent the sufferer from being able to work enough or even at all, leading to poverty. On the other hand, the continued stress of being in poverty can be enough to trigger mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Put the two together and you can end up with a vicious cycle, in which one is too ill to work and too poor to afford the treatment to get better.
Minorities in America are statistically more likely to be disadvantaged than the white population, and Vista is no exception. Vista has varied demographics, with a relatively small white population at 36.5%. That is followed by 4% of individuals of Asian descent, and 2.5% of individuals who were of two or more ethnicities. Only 2% of the population is black and 0.2% Native American, while almost 55% of residents are Hispanic.
The report from California Healthcare Foundation showed that in 2009-2010, minorities were disproportionately affected by mental illness. Only 4.2% of the white population had a serious mental illness while those numbers were 7%, 6% and 5.9% for Native Americans, multiracial individuals and African Americans, respectively.
Access to Care
California is lacking when it comes to mental health professionals. Making this an even worse issue is that state law does not allow professionals of certain disciplines to provide service to individuals with Medicare unless certain specifications are met.
This problem seems to be reflected in a variety of statistics. In 2009, 62.1% of adults with a mental illness did not receive any type of treatment, while that percentage was almost 40% for adults with a severe mental illness.
Resources in Vista
A big part of getting the care one needs is knowing where to go. There are some fine facilities in Vista and the surrounding area that can provide help and treatment. To find the best one for you, you can utilize E-Counseling. Its online directory is designed to search for mental health professionals in your area and to provide the information you need to find the best fit for your personal struggles and goals. It’s easy to feel alone during a mental health lapse, but know that you are not alone and there are resources to help you recover.