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Health Place. 2017 Sep;47:63-70. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2017.07.001. Epub 2017 Jul 26.

Situating mental health work in place: Qualitative findings from interviews with Veterans in Southeastern Louisiana and Northern California.

Author information

1
Center for Mental Health Outcomes Research, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, North Little Rock, AR 72114, United States; South Central Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, North Little Rock, AR 72114, United States; Division of Health Services Research, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, United States. Electronic address: Traci.Abraham@va.gov.
2
Department of Communication Studies, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA 94132, United States; San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System, San Francisco, CA 94121, United States.
3
San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System, San Francisco, CA 94121, United States.
4
South Central Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, North Little Rock, AR 72114, United States; Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System, New Orleans, LA 70119, United States; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70118, United States.
5
Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System, New Orleans, LA 70119, United States; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70118, United States.
6
Departments of Pharmacy Practice and Psychiatry, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, United States; Center for Implementation Research, College of Pharmacy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, United States.
7
Center for Mental Health Outcomes Research, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, North Little Rock, AR 72114, United States; South Central Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, North Little Rock, AR 72114, United States; Division of Health Services Research, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, United States.
8
San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System, San Francisco, CA 94121, United States; Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94121, United States.

Abstract

Most chronic illness management occurs outside clinics and hospitals, in the everyday lives of individuals. We use data from semi-structured interviews with 37 veterans from Southeastern Louisiana and Northern California to illustrate how "health work" for mental health concerns are shaped by place. Using health work as an orienting concept for analysis, we discerned variation between the two study sites in how Veterans used interacting with the natural environment, cultivating time alone, and religious practice to manage their mental health and well-being. Through these findings, we advocate for a situated notion of health work that is mindful of how health-related behaviors are shaped by place and the attributes that constitute place.

KEYWORDS:

Mental health; Qualitative analysis; Self-care; Self-management; Veterans

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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