In California, mental health disorders are considered the most common health conditions with almost 1 out of 6 adults within the state experiencing some form of mental illness. Roughly 1 out of 26 adults with the state suffer from a serious mental illness that makes it challenging to function in daily life. Treating your mental health is just as crucial as physical health. In California, it’s a serious concern for the population.
Mental health is essential because it affects every aspect of our lives. It impacts how we think, feel, and behave, and can influence our relationships, work performance, and overall well-being. Poor mental health can lead to a variety of negative outcomes, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and even physical illness. Taking care of our mental health is crucial for living a happy and fulfilling life.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in 2021, the statistics regarding adults and mental illness in California include the following:
- Nearly 64% of individuals in California between the ages of 12-17 who suffer from depression did not seek treatment.
- Suicide remains the second leading cause of death among Californians ages 15-34. A total of 4,491 people died from suicide.
- Rates of serious psychological distress are higher among certain populations, including individuals who identify as LGBTQ+, those living below the poverty line, and those experiencing homelessness.
- Roughly 1 in 4 people with a severe mental health condition have been arrested at one point or another. This means over 2 million people in California are jailed with a severe mental health disorder each year.
- Mental health conditions continue to be a leading cause of disability and lost productivity in the state, resulting in an estimated $50 billion economic burden each year.
These statistics underscore the ongoing need for improved access to mental health care services and resources in California, particularly in light of recent events that have contributed to increased stress and anxiety for many individuals.
California has enacted several laws to strengthen its mental health treatment system. Some of these laws include:
- The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA): This law provides funding for community-based mental health services and programs, with a focus on early intervention and prevention.
- The Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act: This law outlines the rights of individuals who are involuntarily detained for psychiatric evaluation and treatment.
- The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA): This law requires health insurance plans to provide equal coverage for mental health and substance use disorders as they do for physical health conditions.
- Laura’s Law: This law allows for court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment for individuals with severe mental illness who have a history of hospitalizations or violence.
These laws aim to improve access to mental health care, reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, and ensure that individuals receive appropriate treatment and support.
Mental health is a problem in California for several reasons, including:
- High demand and limited resources: There is a high demand for mental health services in California, but there are often limited resources available to meet this demand. This can lead to long wait times for appointments and difficulty accessing care.
- The stigma surrounding mental illness: Despite efforts to reduce the stigma around mental illness, many people still feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek treatment. This can prevent individuals from getting the help they need.
- Homelessness and substance abuse: Homelessness and substance abuse are significant issues in California, and both can contribute to mental health problems. Individuals who experience homelessness or struggle with addiction often have higher rates of mental illness.
- Natural disasters and trauma: California has experienced several natural disasters in recent years, such as wildfires and earthquakes, which can cause trauma and exacerbate existing mental health conditions.
- Economic inequality: California has one of the highest levels of income inequality in the United States, which can contribute to stress and anxiety among those who are struggling financially.
These factors highlight the importance of needing mental health resources in California through increased access to treatment, reducing stigma around seeking treatment, addressing homelessness and substance abuse, providing support after natural disasters, and working towards greater economic equality.
Finding the right treatment depends on the specific condition and its severity, but there are several options available. There are several mental health resources in Orange County, CA for treatment including the following:
- Psychotherapy: Also known as talk therapy, psychotherapy involves talking to a mental health professional to work through issues and develop coping strategies.
- Medication: Some mental health disorders can be treated with medication prescribed by a healthcare provider, such as antidepressants or antipsychotics.
- Lifestyle changes: Making healthy lifestyle changes, such as getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and reducing stress, can improve mental health symptoms.
- Support groups: Joining a support group with others who have similar experiences can provide emotional support and help individuals feel less isolated.
- Mental health treatment programs: In many cases of mental illness, they may pose risks to an individual’s safety or well-being, an inpatient or outpatient treatment program may be necessary for stabilization and treatment.
It’s important to remember that seeking professional help is key in treating mental health disorders. A healthcare provider can help determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on individual needs and circumstances.
Taking care of mental health can have many positive impacts on an individual’s overall well-being. Here are some examples:
- Improved mood: Addressing mental health concerns can help improve one’s mood and reduce symptoms such as sadness, anxiety, and irritability.
- Increased productivity: When individuals take care of their mental health, they may experience increased focus, motivation, and energy levels, leading to greater productivity in work or personal life.
- Better physical health: Studies have shown that taking care of mental health can also lead to improvements in physical health outcomes such as reduced risk for chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
- Stronger relationships: By addressing mental health concerns, individuals may be better equipped to communicate effectively with loved ones and build stronger relationships.
- Higher quality of life: Overall, taking care of mental health can lead to a higher quality of life by improving emotional well-being and helping individuals cope with stressors more effectively.
These positive impacts highlight the importance of prioritizing mental health and seeking support when needed.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental health condition, please feel free to reach out to Adler Health immediately to learn more about our mental health treatment resources in Orange County, California. We help individuals heal from symptoms surrounding common mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. The first step is picking up the phone. Contact us today.