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October 30, 2019

The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute (NRI) worked with representatives from Oklahoma and Washington State to prepare these case studies on how states can use geographic information systems (GIS) to inform behavioral health care. GIS allows the linking of data to location and the analysis of spatial trends within data. In the context of behavioral health, states have found linking their data to location (often using client and facility addresses) allows stakeholders and policymakers to better understand access to services, and gaps in service access, through the creation of print and digital maps. States have also used GIS products for pre- and post-disaster response initiatives to locate vulnerable clients and determine what services are needed during and after a disaster.