Berkeley is a city on the eastern shore of the San Francisco bay and is nestled firmly in the heart of Alameda County, California. Berkeley is a bustling area with a higher than average gross household income, high home prices, relatively low quality of life compared to other areas in the country, long commutes, traffic, air pollution and stringent academic standards due to the University of California campus within the city limits. These indicators, historically, show increased instances of stress, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
As far as mental health is concerned, Berkeley is on par with the rest of California, which is to say that there are more reported cases of mental health disorders in the state than anywhere else in the country. While there are a higher number of mental health disorders reported, it should also be noted that California is home to more psychotherapists than any other state in the country, and the numbers may be higher due to under-reporting in poorer or less populated states in the country. That’s not to say Berkeley is without its problems, but the numbers may not accurately reflect the true numbers behind reported cases of mental illnesses. The college campuses as a whole – most notably UC Berkeley – have experienced year over year growth in instances of suicide and suicide attempts, as well as admissions to the student psychiatric center. This is without substantial growth in the overall student population. Graduate students, international students and the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) population are amongst the highest risk.
For those that aren’t attending college, the problems are similar. Psychotherapists in the area report the most common problems as those stemming from depression, stress and high anxiety – which aren’t uncommon in comparable cities in both population density and affluence. Alameda county residents needing mental health care in the past year totaled 19.1-percent of the population, an increase of 4-percent from the statewide average. While the increase is significant over a statewide average that is already higher than the nationwide average, the positive to this is that residents of Berkeley reported less than 1-percent of their mental health cases had difficulty getting private or subsidized mental health treatment, and none of those surveyed reported an “unmet” mental health need in either Berkeley or Alameda County.
Common treatment options for these types of disorder run the gamut from psychotherapy to behavioral modification, prescription drugs, hypnotherapy, alternative medicine or group therapy sessions. As far as seeking treatment, Berkeley, and California as a whole is a great place to receive specialized treatment for a wide variety of mental health issues. With a higher than national average number of therapists in the state, California is sure to offer you just the kind of attention that you need in order to map out a plan for recovery that is custom tailored to your specific mental ailment.