Beyond "Landscapes of Despair": The need for new research on the urban environment, sprawl, and the community integration of persons with severe mental illness

Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, 445 W. 59th St., New York, NY 10019, USA.
Health & Place (Impact Factor: 2.81). 10/2007; 13(3):672-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2006.10.002
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this commentary is to discuss important trends in the housing of people with severe mental illness in the past 20 years that require the attention of mental health geographers and other experts on the effects of place on mental health. Issues that are worthy of consideration in new research include: assessing the impact of place effects on community integration, the impact of sprawl, and the emergence of the independent scatter-site housing model. Possible implications of these trends for the effects of place on people with severe mental illness are discussed.

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    • "Studies of the built environment and mental health have included the impact of interior settings and building structure (Radley and Taylor, 2003); housing quality and attributes (e.g., floor level, building and apartment amenities) (Evans et al., 2003); and location and types of housing for the formerly homeless (e.g., scatter-site vs. congregate housing programs) (Henwood et al., 2011; Padgett, 2007; Tsemberis et al., 2004; Wright and Kloos, 2007). Examples of research looking at urban design have focused on neighborhood characteristics such as racial composition, crime, access to services, inclusion and exclusion in public spaces and places, neighborhood incivilities, crowding, poverty and sprawl (Dear and Wolch, 1987; Evans et al., 2003; Wong and Stanhope, 2009; Townley and Kloos, 2011; Tsai et al., 2011; Whitley and Prince, 2005; Yanos, 2007). The relationship between mental health recovery and geographic mobility has also been examined (Chan et al., 2014; Townley et al., 2009; Vallée et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Photo-elicitation interviews (PEIs) were conducted to explore the role of place in recovery - specifically, narrative identity reconstruction - among persons with complex needs. PEIs with 17 formerly homeless adults with co-occurring disorders in New York City produced 243 photos. Content analysis of photos revealed three categories - apartment, neighborhood and people. Two narrative themes - having my own and civic identity - were mapped onto the apartment and neighborhood categories, respectively. Three additional cross-categorical narrative themes were identified: (re)negotiating relationships and boundaries, moving beyond old identities and future possibilities. Housing was central across themes. Understanding of recovery is enhanced when viewed through participant-controlled visual methods. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Health & Place 05/2015; 33. DOI:10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.03.002 · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    • "Spatial integration and dynamicity of urban growth are significant issues in the studies of contemporary cities. In recent years, several studies have been done with regard to population distribution, social systems and urbanization (Batty and Howes, 2001; Belkina, 2007; Herold et al., 2002; Martinuzzi et al., 2007; Rafiee et al., 2009; Yanos, 2007; Yeh and Li, 2001; Taha, 2014). From the review of the relevant literature, it can be generally deduced that the ever increasing rise in the urban land use has various ramifications. "
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    ABSTRACT: Today, urban growth is a multidimensional spatial and population process in which cities and urban settlements are considered as centers of population focus owing to their specific economic and social features, which form a vital component in the development of human societies. The analysis of urban growth using spatial and attribute data of the past and present, is regarded as one of the basic requirements of urban geographical studies, future planning as well as the estab- lishment of political policies for urban development. Mapping, modeling, and measurements of urban growth can be analyzed using GIS and remote sensing-based statistical models. In the present study, the aerial photos and satellite images of 5 periods, namely (1956–1965, 1965–1975, 1975– 1987, 1987–2001, 2001–2012) were used to determine the process of expansion of the urban bound- ary of Bandar Abbas. Here, in order to identify the process of expanding urban boundaries with time, the circular administrative border of the city of Bandar Abbas, was divided into 32 different geographical directions. Here, Pearson’s Chi-square distribution as well as Shannon’s entropy is used in calculating the degree of freedom and the degree of sprawl for the analysis of growth and development of the cities. In addition to these models, the degree-of-goodness was also used for combining these models in the measurement and determination of urban growth. In this way, it was found that the city of Bandar Abbas has a high degree of freedom and degree of sprawl, and a negative degree of goodness in urban growth. Regardless of the results achieved, the current study indicates the capability of aerial photos and satellite imagery in the effectiveness of spatio-sta- tistical models of urban geographical studies.
    Egyptian Journal of Remote Sensing and Space Science 03/2015; 28(1). DOI:10.1016/j.ejrs.2015.03.005
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    • "However, it is not clear whether these findings generalize to adults with mental illness who have histories of homelessness in contemporary urban settings. Yanos et al. (2007) explored CI among a small sample of formerly homeless adults with mental illness after at least one year of stable housing in scattered-site or congregate residences in New York City. Perceived neighborhood social cohesion was strongly related to psychological integration but not to physical or social integration. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines community integration among homeless adults with mental illness 6 and 12 months after random assignment to Housing First (independent apartments or congregate residence) with support services or to treatment as usual (TAU). Residence in independent apartments was associated with increased 'psychological integration' for participants with less severe needs; however, no significant improvement in 'physical integration' was observed among any of the intervention groups. Analysis of individual items on the Psychological Integration subscale revealed that, compared to TAU, participants assigned to independent apartments were more likely to endorse statements related to the emotional components of community but not statements related to neighboring. Participants assigned to the congregate residence were more likely to endorse knowing their neighbors, but not interacting with neighbors or the emotional components of community. Findings are discussed in terms of housing program as well as broader contextual factors.
    Community Mental Health Journal 12/2013; 50(5). DOI:10.1007/s10597-013-9672-9 · 1.03 Impact Factor
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