Image of greenspace and village in the backround

13. April 2021

New article on the importance of greenspaces for mental health in low- and middle- income country

An article in Environmental Research synthesises the available literature on how greenspaces in low- and middle-income countries contribute to mental health and describes the lack of understanding of mediators in relevant cultural and environmental settings.

Exposure to urban greenspaces promotes an array of mental health benefits. Understanding these benefits is of paramount importance, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where cities are expanding at an unprecedented rate. However, the existing evidence-base for the health benefits of greenspaces has a strong bias towards high-income countries. Here we systematically assess the emerging evidence regarding the mental health benefits provided by urban greenspaces in LMICs. Based on the evidence reviewed here, exposure to urban greenspaces can support multiple mental health outcomes in upper-middle-income countries. However, we still know little about poorer, rapidly urbanising countries. Our findings highlight the need for high-quality, context specific research in those urban areas with the highest levels of urbanisation, and the need to address specific challenges regarding mediating and moderating factors. Future studies should combine robust ecological assessments of greenspaces with validated mental health screening tools.

Here's the link to the original publication:
Nawrath, M., S. Guenat, H. Elsey and M. Dallimer (2021). Exploring uncharted territory: Do urban greenspaces support mental health in low- and middle-income countries? Environmental Research 194: 110625.

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