Monday April 22, 2019

Greening Vacant Lots can Reduce Depression in Urban Areas

The findings support that exposure to more natural environments can be part of restoring mental health, particularly for people living in stressful and chaotic urban environments

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Greening vacant land is a highly inexpensive and scalable way to improve cities and enhance people's health.
Greening vacant land is a highly inexpensive and scalable way to improve cities and enhance people's health. Pixabay

Greening sidewalks, parks and vacant or dilapidated spaces could be an important and inexpensive tool to help address the rising cases of depression, anxiety and stress in urban communities, suggests a study.

“Dilapidated and vacant spaces are factors that put residents at an increased risk of depression and stress and may explain why socioeconomic disparities in mental illness persist,” said lead author Eugenia South, Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.

“Greening vacant land is a highly inexpensive and scalable way to improve cities and enhance people’s health… while mental health therapies will always be a vital aspect of treatment. Revitalizing the places where people live, work and play may have broad, population-level impact on mental health outcomes,” added Charles Branas, Professor at the varsity.

In an experiment, published in JAMA Network Open, the research team measured the mental health of 342 Philadelphia residents before and after 541 vacant lots had been converted into green spaces as well as residents living near untreated abandoned lots, and those that just received trash clean-up.

In neighbourhoods below the poverty line, the feelings of depression among residents who lived near green lots decreased significantly by more than 68 per cent.
In neighbourhoods below the poverty line, the feelings of depression among residents who lived near green lots decreased significantly by more than 68 per cent. Pixabay

They found that people living within a quarter of a mile radius of greened lots had a 41.5 per cent decrease in feelings of depression compared to those who lived near the lots that had not been cleaned.

Those living near green lots also experienced a nearly 63 per cent decrease in self-reported poor mental health compared to those living near lots that received no intervention.

“What these new data show us is that making structural changes, like greening lots, has a positive impact on the health of those living in these neighbourhoods. And that it can be achieved in a cost-effective and scalable way,” Branas said.

Also Read: HIV Drug Is Not Linked to Depression: Study

In neighbourhoods below the poverty line, the feelings of depression among residents who lived near green lots decreased significantly by more than 68 per cent.

“The findings support that exposure to more natural environments can be part of restoring mental health, particularly for people living in stressful and chaotic urban environments,” the researchers said. (IANS)

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Violent Relationships Can Increase The Risk Of Mental Disorder in Women

However, a certain amount of unpredictability was actually healthier for women, noted researchers.

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depression
For the study, the researchers included 120 women participants, who were assessed concerning the abusive behaviour they faced and the violent environment around them. Pixabay

Women, please take note. If you are in a violent relationship you may be at an increased risk of suffering from mental disorders, suggests a new study.

The study, published in Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders journal, indicates that the unpredictable violence not only causes physical injuries to women but also leaves the victims at a higher risk of suffering from mental disorders.

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For the study, the researchers included 120 women participants, who were assessed concerning the abusive behaviour they faced and the violent environment around them. Pixabay

“We expect severity and frequency to be the major driver to patient outcomes, but in some cases it isn’t,” said David Katerndahl, Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, US.

“The nonlinearity, or unpredictability, of the violence is much more of a driver,” he added.

depression
The study, published in Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders journal, indicates that the unpredictable violence not only causes physical injuries to women but also leaves the victims at a higher risk of suffering from mental disorders. Pixabay

However, a certain amount of unpredictability was actually healthier for women, noted researchers.
Also Read: Spacecraft Test Runs into Serious Problems, Smoke All Over SpaceX in Florida
“Women who have what we call ‘optimal nonlinearity’, which means they have some nonlinearity but it’s not extreme, actually did better in the study in general,” said Katerndahl.

For the study, the researchers included 120 women participants, who were assessed concerning the abusive behaviour they faced and the violent environment around them. (IANS)