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

Graham, H., White, P., Cotton, J. & McManus, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-2711-0819 (2019). Flood- and Weather-Damaged Homes and Mental Health: An Analysis Using England's Mental Health Survey. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(18), article number 3256. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16183256


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.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: climate change; environment; emergency planning; extreme weather events
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
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