The mind is what controls an individual. Therefore, it is critical to ensure the well-being of the mind. Societies that have a high level of mental ailments are doomed to fail. However, detecting mental illnesses is very difficult. Mental illnesses do not have pronounced symptoms like other diseases. It requires keen observation of the patient by an experienced medical professional. It is common to find people, who have mental problems yet they do not realize they have the problem. In addition, various people who suffer from mental illnesses are unwilling to seek the help of qualified medical practitioners. This necessitates the formulation of strategies that would help medical personnel increase the coverage of mental health facilities, and increase the number of people who are willing to seek help.
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Orange County is an urban area, and the community in the area has all the attributes of an urban community. People have very little contact with their neighbors, and there are no well-knit family relations. There is a high percentage of intellectuals in the area with most people having a bachelors or graduate degree. These intellectuals work in various knowledge-intensive fields (Snider, 2009). People in Orange County are generally wealthy. However, economic recession made these individuals lose vast sums of money, some even their lifetime savings. Recession also led to the loss of thousands of jobs. This created several mental health problems that healthcare providers should solve effectively.
Demographic and Epidemiological Data
Orange County is one of the most populous counties in the U.S. The county is home to 3,010,232 people (US Census Bureau, 2010). It is an urban region with most people living in owner-occupied houses and condominiums. Being an urban area, the area has a high population density of 3,807 people per square mile. The county has a cost of living index of 124.6, which is much higher than the US average of 100. However, people in the area are much wealthier than residents of other counties in California. The average household income of Orange County is $71,865. This is much higher compared to the California average, which is $58931. In addition, the median age of residents of Orange County is 37.6 years. This is slightly lower that the average California average (US Census Bureau, 2010). The low median age proves that residents of Orange County are young.
Mental health is one of the major healthcare problems that the community faces. It is estimated that 18.8 percent of adults have mental problems. When faced with emotional or mental health problems, more than half of the residents of Orange County seek help from family and friends. Very few choose to seek help from medical practitioners with a small percentage opting not to tell anyone about their problems (OCHNA, 2009), The county has several hospitals that have psychiatric units to cater for mentally unstable patients. However, setting up of these facilities is not enough to improve the mental health of residents of Orange County. This is due to the fact that, various people do not visit the mental health facilities for treatment. Relevant authorities should formulate strategies that would encourage people to seek help of qualified professionals if they have mental problems.
Orange County is a hub for business activity. Economic activities in the area range from tourism and real estate to financial services. There are various tourist attractions in the area. Disneyland is one of the major tourist attractions in the county. Various tourist attractions make it common to meet tourists and visitors in Orange County. People of school age are the most common on the streets of Orange County. However, very few children are under the age of five. In addition, it is rare to find pregnant women on the streets of Orange County. Most of the people in Orange County are white, with Hispanics accounting for a sizeable percentage of the white people. People in Orange County are richer compared to those in other locations. Most people appear well groomed and healthy. However, one may occasionally encounter individuals who seem unhealthy. In addition, it is common to meet teenagers, who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, especially during weekends.
Most homes in Orange County have well kept compounds. The majority of people live in their owned homes instead of renting or leasing apartments. It is extremely rare to find dilapidated housing structures in Orange County. People prefer to use their private cars for transportation. However, Orange County has several public transportation means. These include buses and rail. Bus stops have benches, where people can sit while they wait for the buses. There are bus stops near various healthcare facilities. This allows people to visit healthcare facilities easily using the public transportation means. Orange County has several technology firms that employ thousands of people. These businesses and other firms in the area make Orange County have a low unemployment rate. It is rare to find people who are unemployed or people who congregate in groups. Everybody seems to go on with their business.
Orange County is an urban area. It is common to find women, who seem to be out shopping on the streets. However, it is very rare to find children of school age on the streets during daytime. Orange County has several colleges and universities which is also a clear sign that people in the area have a high level of education. Orange County has several healthcare establishments that serve in patients and outpatients. There are various doctors and dentists offices, with most of them being specialists. In addition, Orange County has shelters for the needy and clinics that cater for mentally ill patients. The medical facilities seem sufficient to serve the needs of residents of Orange County.
Roads in Orange County have proper signage. Roads in the county are in excellent condition. However, the Orange County experiences regular traffic jams. SigAlert notifies drivers in Orange County of an impending traffic jam.
There are several restaurants in Orange County. One would also occasionally come across people who sell food on the streets.
People in Orange County live mainly in families. There are several single parent families, with the majority of them being women-headed homes. There is very little community cohesiveness in Orange County. There are no neighborhood meetings in the area. In addition, the number of places of worship is low compared to the population of Orange County. People in Orange County seek medical attention only when they have severe medical conditions. They do not normally visit healthcare facilities.
Intellectual knowledge is what virtually drives the economy of Orange County. People in the area have a high level of education and work in knowledge - intensive industries. This makes mental health of people in the county one of the main points of focus of healthcare providers in the region. Various mental illnesses would result in the loss of intellectual knowledge and ultimately the viability of the economy of Orange County. Nevertheless, despite various residents of Orange County having mental health problems, very few people seek help from qualified professionals (Lin, 2010). Provision of Orange County’s residents mental healthcare needs is in line with Healthy People 2020 that attempts to improve and expand provision of mental health (McKenzie, Pinger & Kotecki, 2011). The economic recession is one of the major causes of mental illnesses and instability. People continue to suffer from the effects of the recession albeit silently.
Several factors may lead to mental health problems. Orange County is predominantly an urban county; people go on with their busy lives not wanting to have distractions from other people. This contributes to the fact that many people do not have close and supportive relationships with family and friends. Therefore, people are unable to convey their anxieties and emotional problems with other people. This may lead to serious mental problems. However, other people intentionally refuse to open up to people. Men are more likely to refrain from sharing their emotional problems with other people than women.
Economic recession adversely affected Orange County. The recession led to the plummeting of the value of real estates. They resulted in closures of various homes, as people were unable to pay their mortgages. Decrease of investments and number of available jobs ultimately results in severe mental problems. Negative effects of the recession hurt people’s mental health and make them vulnerable to psychological problems, such as depression, substance abuse, and compulsive behaviors. In Orange County, unemployed people are two times more likely to suffer from mental illnesses than people who do not have a job. Deteriorating of the economy would make people more susceptible to various mental illnesses. In Orange County, the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders include mood disorder, anxiety disorder and schizophrenia (OCHNA, 2009).
The societal costs on failing to meet the healthcare needs of mental illnesses are extremely high. Mental illnesses result in reduced employee productivity as the employee would spend a serious amount of time seeking treatment. In addition, it is very expensive to house mentally ill inmates in various jails (OCHNA, 2009). This necessitates relevant authorities to device strategies that would help tackle the problem efficiently.
Mental health is one of the major healthcare needs of residents of Orange County. Unwillingness of people to seek treatment necessitates the formulation of programs that would encourage them to seek help from qualified professionals whenever they have mental health problems. Economic recession is one of the major factors that may lead to mental illnesses. Recession adversely affected middle-aged people in the working class. Recession also adversely affected the youth, as their parents and guardians cut back on money they give them. The anguish from financial losses also makes youths and their parents or guardians susceptible to mental problems.
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