Mental-ill health and anxious pandemic geographies

Boyle, L. , Parr, H. and Philo, C. (2021) Mental-ill health and anxious pandemic geographies. In: Andrews, G. J., Cooks, V. A., Pearce, J. R. and Messina, J. P. (eds.) COVID-19 and Similar Futures: Pandemic Geographies. Series: Global perspectives on health geography. Springer: Cham, pp. 365-371. ISBN 9783030701789 (doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-70179-6_48)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


This chapter considers what some have called the ‘inescapable anxieties’ (Rose et al. 2020) associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and we make two specific interventions: the first addresses contagious disease and places of care for people with mental health problems in historical and contemporary times, and the second explores psychological boundaries for those people who already experience severe anxiety conditions. Historically, occupants of ‘asylums’ were particularly at physical risk from the likes of cholera epidemics, but nothing was recognized about any additional burden upon their ‘madness’. During the current crisis, the physical dangers posed to psychiatric patients in closed-institutional environments (hospital wards) because of spatial proximities to bodies are paramount, but so too is a concern for the mental health of inpatients. The psychological effects of COVID-19 on those with existing mental ill-health outside of inpatient settings are also considered, particularly for those who already practice socio-spatial distancing, micro-boundary maintenance, and constant vigilance against perceived biohazards. We critically consider public commentary on these anxious pandemic geographies by both those with lived experience and those who staff psychiatric and psychological services.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boyle, Dr Louise and Parr, Professor Hester and Philo, Professor Christopher
Authors: Boyle, L., Parr, H., and Philo, C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Published Online:20 June 2021

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record