Population Health

August 28, 2019

Assessing nature’s impact on mental health

Two children play in an urban park in SeattleInteractions with nature are beginning to be recognized as one way to improve mental health. However, it has been difficult to identify ways to quantify these benefits in a useful manner for cities or organizations that want to integrate nature to improve mental health.

A new study from an international team that included University of Washington researchers has created a framework for how city planners and municipalities around the world can start to measure the mental health benefits of nature and incorporate those into plans and policies for cities and their residents.

The framework includes four steps for planners to consider: elements of nature included in a project; the amount of contact people will have with nature; how people interact with nature; and how people may benefit from those interactions.

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