We frequently discuss the link between nature and mental health on The Optimist Daily. Another study has emerged solidifying this positive relationship. A study from a team of European researchers has found that more trees planted in a city correlates with fewer antidepressant prescriptions.
To establish this connection, researchers analyzed 10,000 residents in a German town and compared the presence of trees to the number of antidepressant prescriptions prescribed to residents. They found that those who had trees within a 100-meter radius of their home were less likely to be prescribed antidepressants.
The researchers found that this connection was particularly potent for marginalized communities with lower socioeconomic statuses. These groups are already more at risk for depression, but this research shows that something as simple as green space can make a big difference.
Trees and green space improve air quality, reduce stress, and encourage physical mobility and time outdoors. This research further supports the assertion that adding more trees and green space to urban areas is a cost-effective and influential public health measure. Not to mention it’s good for the planet as well.