Abstract 1

AuthorSophia Ryan
AffiliationDuke University

Greenspace and Mental Health in North Carolina: Better Understanding the Role of Urbanity and Rurality on the Greenspace-mental Health Relationship

Greenspace benefits mental health, is a low-cost health intervention to mitigate the impacts of high temperatures and encourages physical activity and social cohesion. However, the details of the greenspace-mental health relationship are still evolving due to the lack of universal metrics of greenspace and limited understanding of the complex mediating and moderating factors between greenspace and mental health. Previous research suggests quantity, in addition to quality and accessibility of greenspace are contributing factors to the mental health-greenspace relationship. Yet, little is known of how these metrics alter the relationship for varying individual (e.g., age, gender, race) and community-level factors (e.g., structural racism, urbanity, poverty). This research will address these gaps with the following research questions: (1) Do quantity, quality and accessibility of greenspace affect mental health outcomes in North Carolina? (2) Do these relationships change when accounting for different contextual and compositional factors? I will quantify mental health utilizing a novel dataset of mental health outcomes that provides complete spatiotemporal coverage of (1) mental illness, (2) suicide, (3) depression, (4) anxiety, (5) mood disorders, (6) self harm/suicide ideation and (7) substance abuse across North Carolina. Results are expected to show that a higher quantity of accessible, high-quality greenspace will result in lower mental health related emergency department visits. Spatial Regression and Ordinary Least Squares regression are used initially to identify greenspace mental health relationships. Multilevel models will be used to disentangle the influence of individual and community-level factors. This work will further foundational knowledge on the greenspace mental health relationship.