South Florida borders the natural wonder that is the Everglades, a subtropical wetlands ecosystem that spans at least 2 million acres into central and southern parts of the Sunshine State, says the National Wildlife Federation. The region is found nowhere else on the earth, and it takes some time to explore the area and appreciate it for all that it is.

Even with this designation, however, the expansive marshland’s neighboring communities face issues that are perhaps as dense as the Everglades vegetation itself. Those issues involve mental health, and much like the Everglades landscape, mental health disorders are complex. Many of these conditions require medical treatment to make life manageable for the people who have them.

Also, like the Everglades, mental health issues are far-reaching. One in five U.S. adults experiences mental illness yearly, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The organization also reports that 1 in 25 U.S. adults encounter serious mental illness every year.

While battles with mental and emotional health are easy for some to hide, the reality is that in time, they likely won’t be. Such illnesses affect the entire person and manifest in multiple ways and behaviors, including substance abuse and addiction.

If they are not effectively untreated, a person’s ability to function normally day to day could deteriorate and take a dark and deadly turn for themselves and anyone around them.

A Sun-Sentinel article highlights the hardships some families face as they care for a mentally ill loved one. It also notes how Florida’s strained public health care system isn’t always able to protect families from unfortunate events.

Fortunately, there is help for mental health treatment near the Everglades area for people who need it. The key is to get the right treatment as early as possible.

If you or a loved one is looking for programs that treat mental health, Vista Pines Health in Pembroke Pines, Florida, is the place you are looking for. Find out how we can help you today.

Mental Health Statistics Near The Everglades

Mental health disorders affect people across South Florida’s diverse populations, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, or socioeconomic status.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Orlando reports that, “In Florida, some 660,000 adults and 181,000 children live with serious mental illness — bipolar disorder, severe depression or schizophrenia — and nearly half the population will struggle with less devastating forms at some point in their lives.”

More people have come face to face with their mental health struggles amid the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. In Broward, mental health professionals and law enforcement saw an increase in calls from the public regarding mental health emergencies.

With so much loss across the board that affects health, employment, food, housing, income, and more, “calls to the 211 helpline in Broward County related to mental health increased 118% from March to April and suicide-related calls increased 86%,” according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The article also says law enforcement authorities saw mental health-related 911 calls increase between March 1 and April 22, 2020, which mirrors the period when the spread of COVID-19 in Florida was apparent.

Observers in behavioral health are concerned the pandemic will further stress an already stretched thin network of social services, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Common Mental Health Issues Near The Everglades

The mental health issues affecting many people who live near the Everglades in Florida include anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, and those that are more severe, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Anxiety disorders affect nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population every year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. In other areas of South Florida, people are also dealing with eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.

Other Mental Health Disorders That Are Commonly Experienced Include:

  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Personality disorders

Florida’s Mental Health Rankings And History

There is room for improvement when it comes to mental health services in Florida. According to the Florida Behavioral Health Association, Florida ranked No. 44 in access to mental health treatment in 2018. The report also said that nearly 62 percent of adults in the state didn’t receive mental health treatment; the national average is nearly 56 percent.

Florida has also ranked at No. 50 in the United States for government spending on mental health programs. The state spends $36 per person on mental health services, according to a Fort Myers News-Press report.

Quick Treatment Facts

Getting help for a mental health disorder is essential to keeping a person healthy. These kinds of disorders can disrupt daily life, and in many cases, they do not get better when ignored.

Vista Pines Health understands mental health treatment. We treat the whole individual, putting the person first, and making sure all treatment is tailored to the person’s unique needs.

Patience is needed to address a mental health condition, as they can be complex conditions that take considerable time to treat. Medications may be recommended to treat some disorders along with therapies to ensure the person in recovery stays on track.

You don’t have to wait for a crisis to occur or a mental health disorder to worsen before you receive professional treatment for it. The earlier it is addressed, the faster you can manage it as you go about your life. Reach out to a therapist or licensed counselor who can assess your symptoms and diagnose your condition to treat it with the proper services.

For people dealing with substance abuse and a mental health illness at the same time, Vista Pines also offers substance abuse and addiction treatment at Arete Recovery, which is located on the same campus as Vista Pines.

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