Mental Health & Town Planning - Building in Resilience
In the UK and Ireland, the rates of mental health illness are high. It is estimated that around one in four people will experience a mental health condition. This places a huge burden on individuals, their families and on society. Where someone lives can have an impact on their mental health. The quality of the wider built environment is also a determining factor for mental health, with noise, pollution levels, quality of green space, access to services and even ‘beauty’ all playing a part. Therefore, town planning decisions can have an impact on mental health. Creating an accessible, inclusive built environment that enables everyone to play an equal role in society is important in protecting and enhancing everyone’s well-being and mental health.
This practice note gives advice on how planners can work within the current UK planning systems and with other professionals to take account of mental health when making changes to the built environment. It summaries expert advice, outlines key planning policy, good practice and case studies. The policy context applies to England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland, but the principles of good practice apply wherever you work in the world.
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