Livermore, California Therapists
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An Overview of Mental Health in Livermore, California
Named after its founder Robert Livermore who first came to the area in the 1840s, the city of Livermore, California is a city rich in history and wine. It is California’s oldest wine region and began with the founder who planted the first commercial vines upon his arrival. However, great-tasting wine isn’t the only high point of this city. Livermore is home to both the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Sandia National Laboratory, two high-tech labs which are the top employers of the city’s residents. The discovery of the element Livermorium and the record for the world’s longest-lasting light bulb are two other notable achievements of Livermore.
In most aspects, Livermore is a thriving, wealthy community. The city has a population of 90,295 people with a median household income of $109,084. This city boasts a low 4.8 percent of its residents living in poverty and a 71.2 percent homeownership rate. However, even in a beautiful, luxurious city like Livermore, there are always people within the community that suffer from mental illness, which is why they must have access to the mental health resources they need.
Mental Illness Risk Factors in Livermore
Although a large number of residents living in Livermore appear to be doing well, several populations struggle with specific mental health concerns and mental illness.
Although Livermore has a predominantly white population with 78.6 percent of residents claiming to be only white, the city includes many other races including Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and African Americans. Poverty is a much larger issue among minorities in this area, especially African Americans and Pacific Islanders. While only 3.87 percent of white residents are living in poverty, 24.16 percent of Pacific Islanders and 26.35 percent of African Americans live below the poverty line. Living in poverty increases one’s chance of having a mental illness and often creates barriers for people to get the help they need.
The average age of Livermore residents is 39.4 with 12.6 percent of the community being 65 years or older. Mental health is a growing concern for older adults with approximately 20 percent of adults 55 years and older experiencing depression and anxiety disorders. In 2017, Alameda County’s mental health hospitalization rates raised with age. A total of 12,488 adults 65 years or older accounted for these hospitalizations with 7,408 being over the age of 85. Many of these hospitalizations were due to depression.
Many proposed factors contribute to these statistics including issues with dislocation and poverty, medical problems, reduced mobility and independence, the loss of loved ones, medication issues, and ageism.
Livermore, California is home to approximately 4,195 veterans, 47 percent of which fought in Vietnam. According to a 2014 study, about 25 percent of active duty members showed signs of having a mental health condition. The most common mental health issues veterans often have to deal with are posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and traumatic brain injury. An estimated 31 percent of Vietnam veterans suffer from PTSD. Unfortunately, only 50 percent of veterans who need assistance for their mental health issues seek help, and only half of those individuals get the care they need. Other alarming statistics state that 37,878 American veterans are homeless and that an average of 20 veterans die by suicide every day.
One major concern of the veteran community in Livermore is that the Department of Veterans Affairs is planning to close the VA Hospital in the city, even though a VA Hospital has never been closed before anywhere in the United States. Although other VA hospitals are being constructed in nearby cities, they are still a long drive away for veterans who need care for physical and mental health issues living in Livermore.