Muddying the therapeutic geographies of mental healthcare: Carescapes of psychiatric transition in the Scottish Highlands

Philo, C. and Parr, H. (2020) Muddying the therapeutic geographies of mental healthcare: Carescapes of psychiatric transition in the Scottish Highlands. In: Munoz, S.-A. and Bain, S. F. (eds.) Mental Health and Wellbeing in Rural Regions: International Perspectives. Series: Routledge Advances in Regional Economics, Science and Policy. Routledge: London, pp. 40-56. ISBN 9780367544867

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


We are then introduced in Chapter 3, by Philo and Parr, to the topic of inpatient facilities in rural areas. This chapter picks up the topic alluded to in Chapter 1, of links between rural mental health and land, landscape and environment. Philo and Parr’s chapter presents a detailed case study of “Old Craigs” and “New Craigs” in Inverness (Scotland) – the “old” Inverness District Lunatic Asylum (closed in the early 2000s) and the New Craigs inpatient hospital built in land adjacent to the old asylum site. Through consideration of this case study, the authors show how various writers and therapists have proclaimed the importance of “natural” (rural, scenic, countryside) settings as conducive to the recovery of mental wellness for people enduring periods of mental ill health. Such proclamations have a deep historical lineage that is explored in this chapter. Philo and Parr demonstrate that there is much merit in reconsidering what kinds of “therapeutic landscapes” were being created and how they have since been experienced by patients resident in such institutions. They also demonstrate the need to consider whether more modern versions of therapeutic landscapes designed for mental health inpatients, associated with updated discourses about model psychiatric facilities, are necessarily improvements on what went before. The authors argue that a thoroughly “muddied” therapeutic landscape in the grounds of the Old Craigs, organically blended into its rural surroundings over many years, may have now been lost, replaced by a new facility largely devoid of grounds or connections into real earth. These themes are developed as a fresh perspective for work on the rural geographies of mental healthcare, with relevance to both facilities and individual bodies and psychologies.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Parr, Professor Hester and Philo, Professor Christopher
Authors: Philo, C., and Parr, H.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences

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