Did you know that your ZIP code plays a role in your health? It might surprise you to hear that up to 60% of your health is determined by where you live. Your neighborhood, along with your town and larger geographical region, impacts your sense of community and belonging, and determines how easily you can access the things and services you need, including for your mental health.
Access to quality resources
One of the biggest ways your location can impact your mental health is how easy or hard it is to access the things you need. This includes healthy food, safe outdoor space, quality medical care, and public transportation (which still may not get you where you need to go in a reasonable amount of time even when you do have access). Because local income taxes usually fund public services, low-income areas are often under-resourced in quality education, road maintenance, community programs, and more, which can make it difficult for people to meet their basic needs. Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and other marginalized communities often feel these strains the hardest.