19 May 2021

Event | Mental health, well-being and the environment | 25 May 2021

Mental Health Europe, IEEP and ISGlobal are co-hosting an interactive online dialogue to discuss the nexus between the state of the environment and people’s mental health and how European policies and the COVID-19 recovery plans can mainstream them for a people-centred and nature-based future. The event will take place on Tuesday, 25 May 2021 from 15:00 to 17:00 CEST.

Scientific evidence has demonstrated that people exposed to certain air pollutants are more likely to experience mental health problems. Poorly planned urban settings with unsustainable transport systems and a lack of access to green areas increase air pollution, noise and heat, reduce opportunities for physical activity, and have a negative impact on people’s physical and mental health. The state of our mental health and natural environment are thus intimately intertwined.


The Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) produced a background paper and a policy brief on this correlation. These focus on both the environmental stressors as a threat to mental health and the role of nature as an enabler of better mental health outcomes.


The socio-health benefits of nature need to be more widely recognised and nature-based initiatives should be prioritised to regenerate cities (e.g., urban forests, parks and gardens, urban farms, green roofs, green walls, and tree-lined streets) provide benefits to health and well-being. The paper provides a set of policy recommendations to ensure consistent consideration of the impact of environmental determinants of mental health and well-being in policy planning and decision-making processes in the European Union (EU). The COVID-19 pandemic recovery plans and the zero-pollution action plan expected in 2021 provide a unique opportunity to put citizens’ health and well-being at the centre of policymaking.


The aim of this event is to provide an open space for dialogue to experts working in think tanks, NGOs, European institutions and the scientific community. Participants will be sharing perspectives, ideas, and experiences in breakout rooms on the online platform Zoom in the presence of moderators.


We look forward to welcoming you on 25 May to this event. 

Stay connected

Get our latest news, personal stories, research articles, and job opportunities.