Entry for:150 Years of Discovery: Emerging Research
1. Please provide a brief summary of your video and research.
According to new estimates by the World Health Organisation, mental illness accounts for 15% of the total burden of disease in the developed world. In particular, the number of people suffering from depression has increased by approximately 18% between 2006 and 2015. At this rate mental illness is set to become the second leading cause of disability by 2020.
In New Zealand one in six adults, had been diagnosed with a common mental disorder at some point in their lives.
Given the contribution of mental illness to disease burden, it is important to evaluate potentially amenable aspects of neighbourhood environments which might reduce this burden. As a result, my thesis seeks to establish a connection between the built environment and health, by exploring the relationship between neighbourhood walkability and Mental Health service use. This will be achieved by developing a walkability index, which will consist of six elements:
o Density: Household density
o Connectivity: Number of true intersections / km2 of land area
o Diversity: Land use mix
o Proximity: Bus stops
o Environmental friendliness: Sidewalk width
o Neighbourhood greenness : Green space density
To calculate the walkkability index, the Z-score of the raw data above will be calculated and then added up to provide the final walkability score o each meshblock.
The data will then be visualized using GIS software.
Funding for my research: Environmental Health Indicators Programme, Centre for Public Health and Research, Massey University Wellington
2. Do you have a video hashtag for sharing via twitter?