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Open AccessArticle

Flood- and Weather-Damaged Homes and Mental Health: An Analysis Using England’s Mental Health Survey

1
Department, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK
2
Department of Environment and Geography, University of York, Wentworth Way, York YO10 5NG, UK
3
Environment Agency, Leeds LS11 9AT, UK
4
National Centre for Social Research, London EC1V 0AX, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3256; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183256
Received: 12 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 18 August 2019 / Published: 5 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Climate Change and Health)
There is increasing evidence that exposure to weather-related hazards like storms and floods adversely affects mental health. However, evidence of treated and untreated mental disorders based on diagnostic criteria for the general population is limited. We analysed the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, a large probability sample survey of adults in England (n = 7525), that provides the only national data on the prevalence of mental disorders assessed to diagnostic criteria. The most recent survey (2014–2015) asked participants if they had experienced damage to their home (due to wind, rain, snow or flood) in the six months prior to interview, a period that included months of unprecedented population exposure to flooding, particularly in Southern England. One in twenty (4.5%) reported living in a storm- or flood-damaged home in the previous six months. Social advantage (home ownership, higher household income) increased the odds of exposure to storm or flood damage. Exposure predicted having a common mental disorder over and above the effects of other known predictors of poor mental health. With climate change increasing the frequency and severity of storms and flooding, improving community resilience and disaster preparedness is a priority. Evidence on the mental health of exposed populations is key to building this capacity. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; environment; emergency planning; extreme weather events climate change; environment; emergency planning; extreme weather events
MDPI and ACS Style

Graham, H.; White, P.; Cotton, J.; McManus, S. Flood- and Weather-Damaged Homes and Mental Health: An Analysis Using England’s Mental Health Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3256.

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