The Geography of Mental Health: An Examination of Police Calls for Service

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Book Chapter

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The purpose of this chapter is to explore the geographic distribution of mental health-related 911 calls for service in the City of Detroit, Michigan. Optimized hot spot analysis found that the calls were not randomly distributed. Statistically significant hot and cold spots were identified for all mental health calls, suicides and suicide attempts, as well as people with mental illness who were violent and non-violent. Using risk terrain modeling, various characteristics of the physical/built environment were examined to see if there was a relationship between place and mental health related calls for service. For all mental health calls, the range of Relative Risk Scores was 1–384, which means that cells with an RRS of 384 have an expected rate of mental health calls for service that is 384 times higher than a place with a score of 1. While the locations of crimes of violence do influence risk of calls for service for mental health issues, locations of non-violent property crimes, blight violations, and quality of life offenses have a greater influence on the risk of suicide, non-violent mental health, and violent mental health calls for service.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

The Geography of Mental Health: An Examination of Police Calls for Service, in K. Lersch & J. Chakrabory (Eds.), Geographies of Behavioural Health, Crime, and Disorder, Springer, p. 13-36