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Open AccessReview

The Influence of the Urban Environment on Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Focus on Air Pollution and Migration—A Narrative Review

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Perugia, 06132 Perugia, Italy
2
CSM 24 ore Area delle Dolomiti Friulane, Department of Mental Health, AsFO Friuli Occidentale, 33170 Pordenone, Italy
3
Planetary Health Lab, Old Medical School, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK
4
SPDC Potenza, Department of Mental Health, ASP Basilicata, Italian National Health Service, 85100 Potenza, Italy
5
CSM Terni, Department of Mental Health, 05100 Terni, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andrea Fiorillo and Maurizio Pompili
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3920; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083920
Received: 22 February 2021 / Revised: 27 March 2021 / Accepted: 29 March 2021 / Published: 8 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused a crisis worldwide, due to both its public health impact and socio-economic consequences. Mental health was consistently affected by the pandemic, with the emergence of newly diagnosed psychiatric disorders and the exacerbation of pre-existing ones. Urban areas were particularly affected by the virus spread. In this review, we analyze how the urban environment may influence mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, considering two factors that profoundly characterize urbanization: air pollution and migration. Air pollution serves as a possibly risk factor for higher viral spread and infection severity in the context of urban areas and it has also been demonstrated to play a role in the development of serious mental illnesses and their relapses. The urban environment also represents a complex social context where minorities such as migrants may live in poor hygienic conditions and lack access to adequate mental health care. A global rethinking of the urban environment is thus required to reduce the impact of these factors on mental health. This should include actions aimed at reducing air pollution and combating climate change, promoting at the same time a more inclusive society in a sustainable development perspective. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; mental health; social determinants; air pollution; climate change; migration; refugees; urban environment; urbanization COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; mental health; social determinants; air pollution; climate change; migration; refugees; urban environment; urbanization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Menculini, G.; Bernardini, F.; Attademo, L.; Balducci, P.M.; Sciarma, T.; Moretti, P.; Tortorella, A. The Influence of the Urban Environment on Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Focus on Air Pollution and Migration—A Narrative Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3920. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083920

AMA Style

Menculini G, Bernardini F, Attademo L, Balducci PM, Sciarma T, Moretti P, Tortorella A. The Influence of the Urban Environment on Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Focus on Air Pollution and Migration—A Narrative Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(8):3920. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083920

Chicago/Turabian Style

Menculini, Giulia; Bernardini, Francesco; Attademo, Luigi; Balducci, Pierfrancesco M.; Sciarma, Tiziana; Moretti, Patrizia; Tortorella, Alfonso. 2021. "The Influence of the Urban Environment on Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Focus on Air Pollution and Migration—A Narrative Review" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 8: 3920. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083920

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