Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Nice thought but I don't think cause and effect is established here...

Some stress-busting green space

The Bradford Telegraph & Argus reports some 'ground-breaking' research into the link between green spaces and depression in pregnancy:

The key finding revealed that while 33.5 per cent of women reported at least one severe depressive symptom during pregnancy, those living in the greenest areas of Bradford were around 20 per cent less likely to report feeling depressed.

Programme manager, Rosie McEachan, said: "This is a really important finding, as it means we can make changes at an environment level which will have a larger benefit for our communities in most need.

"Efforts should be made to increase the availability of green space at a policy level and utilisation of green space at an individual level."

The problem with this is that the mums living in Bradford's greenest areas are (I guessing here) probably older, richer, healthier and better-educated. Not that these eliminate ante-natal depression of course but I suspect that a young single mum-to-be in inner city Bradford is far more likely to suffer from depression than her counterpart up the valley. Which isn't to say that green spaces aren't important but that those demographics are likely to be much more important.

Still a nice thought.


1 comment:

asquith said...

Of course it's always going to be hard to be a disadvantaged single parent and greenery isn't going to make your life magically become easy, but I think lack of access to nature is one of those things that worsens an already bad situation. I advocate making some "waste" land, including ex-industrial land, over to be community gardens, trees and what-have-you so people can have a sense of a common enterprise, a stake in the community and that kind of business. I live in a pretty unpleasant part of Stoke, but I've got something because I helped plant trees (this was during a nationwide project for the Diamond Jubilee) and do other environmental voluntary work and I often enjoy recreation on the rather unpromising-sounding sites of a slagheap and a flooded mine, but which have been made over.

You're not going to transform the world with urban trees and parks and that but I think small change is quite important when you're at the sharp end of life, and while it's not going to abolish that difference in ante-natal depression it will provide mother and child with something that's worth doing. And allotments, I don't think people can or should become self-sufficient peasants but it's about much more than its surface value.