Discusses the relation of geography research on mental wellbeing research. Describing a variety of methods of analysis, and why that type was chosen. Describes how the field has grown to include spatial information, as well as other data -- space as related to incidences and statistics - especially in GIS systems. For instance, it can now be found: ‘‘mental health differences in Wales are partly explained by the level of regional social deprivation’’ or that there is a "clustering of childhood leukemia around a nuclear power plant." A geographer can add a new element to the research questions when statistics exist in spaces, and tell us about the "role of context on a phenomenon." Also, we may be able to determine needs assessments for an area, and change the location where we provide services to more closely meet the need.
Multi-disciplinary approach, which can use professional geographers. Digital mapping and GIS systems (analysis of geographically-referenced data) are now being used at the desktop computer level. E.g., a GIS of disease would have the spatial location (geo-coordinates) of each incident together with information about the disease (disease name, age, gender, date, outcome, etc. GIS allows for review of possible spatial clustering of diseases/incidents.
Other layers of information can be added from disparate sources (census race and age, local unemployment, county income, climate, weather, hwy networks, public transp., hospital records of MH incidences) And, then, you can find patterns of information.
May began "medical geography" in 1950, and MH geography began to be used in 1970s. In this work, it's been stressed that professional geographers can add an overall layer of knowledge and interpretation to the field of study.
Gatrell (2002). Geographies of Health (book)