Tackling Urbanicity and Pollution in Mental Health Prevention Strategies

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Ventriglio, A.; Castaldelli-Maia, J. M.; Torales, J.; De Berardis, D.; Bhugra, D.. Tackling Urbanicity and Pollution in Mental Health Prevention Strategies. In: . Prevention in Mental Health: From Risk Management to Early Intervention: SPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING, 2022. p.157-171.
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Globalization in the last decades has led to an increase of exchanges through the globe and an expansion of global markets as well as an increase of levels of urbanization through the continents. In particular, urbanization includes environmental, social, and economic changes and factors that may affect the mental health of the general population. In fact, emerging evidence reports higher rates of mental disorders in the urban settings than in rural areas, and social disparities and insecurity may impact on the mental health of the weaker groups of society. Also, the lack of contact with nature in the city and higher levels of pollution are associated with a remarkable rate of psychological distress. Pollution, in particular, is tightly related to the level of industrialization and employment of technology. It has been demonstrated that environmental pollutants (e.g., air pollutants, noise, ionizing radiations, etc.) may impact directly or indirectly on mental health: there may be a direct biological consequence of pollution on the human central nervous system as well as a range of psychological stress generated by the lasting exposure to pollutant agents. This chapter reports emerging evidence regarding the impact of urbanicity and pollution on public mental health and suggests further research and action in order to develop strategies of prevention of mental illness due to the burden of global urbanization. © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022.
Mental health, Pollutants, Pollution, Urban mental health, Urbanicity
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