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  • Writer's pictureKara Kohnen

Mental Health Shortage in California

The Shortage of California Mental Health Treatment

Nearly half of all young adults in California and around the country are experiencing anxiety and depression, according to new research. This age group (18–25) is struggling more than any other demographic. However, there are not enough California mental health treatment centers or providers to address this crisis among young people. In fact, California has one of the worst rankings in the country when it comes to accessing mental health services. Let’s take a closer look at California mental health statistics for 2022.

California Mental Health Statistics 2022

According to Mental Health America (MHA)’s 2022 California mental health statistics, one in five adults in California struggles with a mental illness—nearly 6 million in total. And about 5 percent of adults report having suicidal thoughts. California also has one of the highest rates of substance abuse disorder in the nation, with 9 percent of adults reporting a substance abuse disorder in the past year.

However, the state is unable to keep up with the growing need for mental healthcare and substance abuse treatment. Among adults in the state with mental illness, 62 percent do not receive any California mental health treatment at all. This puts California well below the national average of 56 percent. Only three states (Florida, Georgia, and Hawaii) rank worse than California in terms of access to mental healthcare.

Part of the problem is a shortage of California mental health treatment providers, as well as a limited number of anxiety and depression treatment centers in California. More than half of Californians (52 percent) say their community does not have enough mental health providers to meet its needs. Moreover, 434,000 adults with mental illness in the state do not have California mental health insurance. For many people, that makes accessing care nearly impossible.

5 Top California Mental Health Challenges for Young Adults

Young adults in California face the same challenges as their peers across the country. In addition, other factors specifically impact California young adult mental health in 2022.

The Negative Impact of Social Media

Because the state is a hub of the tech industry, California legislators are particularly aware of the detrimental effects of social media on young people. Earlier this year, California Attorney General Rob Bonta launched an investigation of TikTok and Instagram. Bonta stated that the social media companies continue to promote their platforms to teens and young adults, despite knowing that they take “a devastating toll on children’s mental health and well-being.” In addition, two state lawmakers introduced a proposal that would allow parents in California to sue social media companies for the mental health side effects of social media.

The Mental Health Effects of Politics

Political events at home and abroad, like the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade or the war in Ukraine, can catalyze a wide range of emotions and reactions for young adults. This form of stress can damage relationships, disrupt self-care, and even lead to physical symptoms. In a recent survey, 20 percent of respondents reported feeling fatigued because of political news, and 1 in 4 felt depressed when their candidate lost an election. In addition to political upheaval, social and economic uncertainty also contribute to the young adult mental health crisis.

Climate Change Anxiety

For many young adults, environmental issues are not only a global concern but also a person detriment to well being. In California, the impact of climate change includes the rising sea level, an increased risk of wildfires and drought, poor air quality, and threats to biodiversity and to the state’s agriculture industry. This has led to what the American Psychological Association (APA) defines as “eco-anxiety”—“a chronic fear of environmental doom.” The APA stated that the impact of climate change on individuals’ quality of life “may lead to mental health impacts such as loss of a sense of control and autonomy, and feelings of helplessness, fear and fatalism.”

Homelessness Among LGBTQ Youth

The city of Los Angeles has the second-highest homeless population in the country. This includes thousands of young adults ages 18 through 24 who homeless due to being economically and/or emotionally disconnected from their families. Among homeless youth, more than a third identify as LGBTQ, according to the California Coalition for Youth. And this group is two to four more times likely to report depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts, as compared to those with stable housing.

Marginalization Experienced by BIPOC Youth

California has a more diverse population than many other US states, including a high percentage of Latinx, African-American, and Asian American Pacific Islander young adults. These marginalized groups face ongoing discrimination and prejudice, leading to higher rates of mental health issues.

Grow Through Life Counseling, Inc. is responding to the shortage of care for young adults by expanding our outpatient mental health facilities in California. Serving ages 0–65, our California mental health treatment centers address the underlying trauma and attachment wounds that catalyze young adult depression, anxiety, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders like substance abuse and gaming disorder,

In addition, Grow Through Life Counseling accepts insurance to cover our California mental health services. We work with most major insurance companies, both In-Network and out of network, including the most popular California mental health insurance plans. Our goal is to optimize access to care for young adults in order to address the California mental health crisis.

Specialized Care for Young Adults at Our California Mental Health Treatment Centers

Each client in our long-term mental health facilities in California receives a tailored treatment plan, designed by a team of medical and behavioral healthcare experts. Treatment is provided in a supportive, compassionate environment where young adults can connect with peers and mentors, ending the loneliness and depression that is so prevalent among today’s young people. Our locations include 6 in San Diego County and 1 in Murrieta, CA mental health treatment location and via Telehealth in CA.

Grow Through Life Counseling’s licensed clinicians specialize in treating trauma and related issues through proven modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Our approach builds autonomy for young adults while involving family in the healing process. Strenghening teh foundation becomes a launching pad for building a more independent life and authentic relationships outside the family.

Learn More About Grow Through Life Counseling in California. Contact us 619-549-0329 ext 0.

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