The Geography of Mental Health: Understanding contextual, compositional and external stressors

Dr. Maggie Sugg earned a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and will receive an expected $413,763 over five years (May 2021–April 2026) in federal grant funding to support research, as well as teaching, student mentorship and outreach for her CAREER project. Sugg’s five-year research project — “The Geography of Mental Health: Understanding contextual, compositional and external stressors” — will advance understanding of the relationship between geography and mental health illnesses — ranging in severity from depression to suicide. She will use geographic research methods, coupled with public health data, to identify North Carolina locations with populations with elevated rates of adverse mental health illnesses — while also examining how these locations differ across a rural-to-urban spectrum.

  • Dr. Maggie Sugg, assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Planning
  • Dr. Jennifer Runkle, an environmental epidemiologist at the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies and a research assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Planning
  • Dr. Kurt Michael, App State’s Stanley R. Aeschleman Distinguished Professor of Psychology
  • Dr. Saskia van de Gevel, professor in and chair of the Department of Geography and Planning
Partners: 
Department of Geography and Planning
Department of Psychology