Mental Health Syndemics and Housing Affordability Disparities: Exploring Overlapping Burdens in Colorado

Authors: Ivan Ramirez*, University of Colorado - Denver, Jieun Lee, University of Northern Colorado
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Urban Geography
Keywords: Mental Health, Suicide, Substance Abuse Disorder, Syndemic, Housing Affordability, GIS
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Mental health and housing affordability are dual societal challenges faced by many residents in Colorado. Despite a known relationship between physical/mental health and housing, the spatial overlap of mental health-related issues (syndemic) and the social determinants of health context is less explored, particularly the rising cost of housing. Using Colorado statewide data at the census-tract level, this study employed various geospatial analytical techniques to investigate geographic relationships and identify areas of potential mental health syndemics (e.g., mental distress, drug-related mortality, and suicide mortality) and rent-burden disparity, as well as identify areas of inaccessibility to mental health-related resources. This presentation summarizes key results and conclusions.

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