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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    • "The research literature on HF's use of scatter-site housing has shown that, as compared with those in TF programs, HF tenants experience a variety of better outcomes, including reporting greater satisfaction (Siegel et al., 2006) and perceived choice (Greenwood, Schaefer-McDaniel, Winkel, & Tsemberis, 2005; Nelson , Sylvestre, Aubry, George, & Trainor, 2007); are more engaged in treatment (Tsemberis, 1999), and experience longer periods of stable housing (Tsemberis & Eisenberg, 2000). However, scatter-site housing can also mean that individuals are housed in unfamiliar neighborhoods where they have no social ties, leading them to feel rootless and isolated (Yanos, 2007). Despite the assertive community treatment typically provided to HF tenants, such as intensive case management in which providers make frequent home visits, often HF tenants will still experience social distancing from other types of relationships. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Strong and effective social support is a critical element of mental health recovery, yet social support is often lacking for adults experiencing homelessness. This study examines differences in the social networks of participants newly enrolled in programs that use either a Housing First (HF) approach (i.e., provides immediate access to permanent housing with ongoing consumer-driven support services) or a treatment first (TF) approach (i.e., traditional clinician-driven staircse model that requires temporary or transitional housing and treatment placements before accessing permanent housing). Method: We use a mixed-methods social network analysis approach to assess group differences of 75 individuals based on program type (HF or TF) and program retention. Results: Quantitative results show that compared with TF, HF participants have a greater proportion of staff members in their network. TF participants are more likely than HF participants to maintain mixed-quality relationships (i.e., relationships with elements of support and conflict). As compared with participants who remain in a program, those who disengage from programs have a greater proportion of mixed relationships and relationships that grow distant. Qualitative analyses suggest that HF participants regard housing as providing a stable foundation from which to reconnect or restore broken relationships. However, HF participants are guarded about close relationships for fear of being exploited due to their newly acquired apartments. TF participants report that they are less inclined to develop new relationships with peers or staff members due to the time-limited nature of the TF programs. Conclusions: These findings suggest that HF participants are not more socially isolated than those in traditional care. Implications for practice, policy and future research 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.
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Egyptian Journal of Remote Sensing and Space Science
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