You are here

Ron de Burger Student Award 2017 - R Janicki

Finding Headspace: A Knowledge Synthesis of the Effects of Urban Green Space on Mental Health

R Janicki
University of Guelph – Master of Public Health

  • Awareness of mental health as a critical component of overall well-being has grown in recent years
  • One in five Canadians is diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their lives, making mental health a priority for a productive and thriving population
  • Our environment is linked to mental health outcomes, and contact with nature promotes greater mental well-being
  • The number of Canadians living in urban centres is steadily increasing, with 81% of the Canadian population reporting living in an urban centre in 2011, an increase of 4% from 1991
  • This migration towards urban centres means that the amount of contact Canadians have with nature is decreasing
  • Urban green spaces, such as parks and community gardens, bring nature back into an urban environment
  • Exposure to urban green spaces promotes various aspects of mental health and results in improved mental health outcomes
  • Further research, including longitudinal studies, is needed to determine how urban green spaces can best be designed to promote mental health