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Bridging the gap between San Francisco’s mental health and addiction-based services

Published On: 09-03-2015 in Category: addiction, mental health, therapy, treatment


In order to address a mental health problem in a complete and effective manner, it helps if one can conceptualize it to understand its full extent. For more complex issues, conveying its severity can be a difficult task. Fortunately, the latest statewide statistics regarding mental illness have compelled the city of San Francisco to narrow its focus on improving mental health services and programs.

An extensive 2013 report from the California Healthcare Foundation, “Mental Health Care in California: Painting a Picture,” compares and contrasts the prevalence of mental illness with the availability of mental health services across various regions and other parameters throughout the state. For the City by the Bay in particular, the recorded data included:

1. 805,235 residents make up San Francisco’s population.

2. Of this population, 3.5 percent of its adults met the requirements for a serious mental disorder and almost twice as many children qualified for experiencing a serious emotional disturbance in previous reports.

3. For every 100,000 people, there were an estimated 76.6 psychiatrists available.

In addition to this, a 2010 report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) showed that 79 percent of California’s mental health agency spending was directed to community mental health services compared to the national average of 70 percent in 2006. However, the California Healthcare Foundation determined that the effects of the state’s spending were extremely varied depending on the region. As a central hub, San Francisco does have one of the highest amounts of available psychiatric options due to its larger population. But overall, the current ratio of resources is still greatly skewed to the rising rate of diagnosed mental illnesses.

It is also important to note that these statistics are directly linked to the region’s issue of substance abuse and addiction. Substance dependency and its related conditions are all included and classified within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the official handbook of mental health professionals. Also, many cases of pathological drug use either induce a disorder or mask a mental illness that already exists. Overall, the data collected by these accredited organizations also detail the imbalance of addiction services in the Bay Area.

If you or a loved one has been stricken with a mental disorder due to a battle with a drug or alcohol addiction, contact the San Francisco Drug Treatment Rehab Center by live chatting online or calling 415-366-6922.

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