The relationship between environment and mental health: how does geographic information systems (GIS) help?
Dear Sir, The role of physical and social environment on mental health cannot be ignored. While this relationship is adequately explored in mental health research, analysing and assimilating them in mental health planning still remains a road less travelled. Computer-based mapping technology called geographic information systems (GIS) has presented mental health researchers with many new possibilities in this direction. GIS-based spatial mapping and analysis can provide a better insight into illness patterns, causes, interactions and service needs. This can in turn help in evaluating interventions and guide evidence-based health care policies. The aim of this letter is to inform us of the opportunities and usefulness of GIS in mental health research, planning and delivery.