Articles and Links Update – May

  • An app for tracking mental health: Mobile Therapy is a mobile app and web platform that provides mental health professionals access to client data. The app uses surveys, linguistic analysis (LIWC algorithms), and phone sensors to gather information about patients’ emotions and behaviours, movement, interactions and more.
  • Design professionals’ interest in Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) is growing. “This report synthesizes survey responses from 29 sustainable design leaders across the U.S. and Canada in order to document the current status of POE in the architecture profession. Over half of these firms (40 employees and larger) are currently conducting POEs and almost all would like to conduct POEs on a majority of their projects in the near future. Tools and resources to assist in the development and implementation of POEs are also included.”
  • The trend towards tracking and individualized health. “Scientist Michael Snyder tracked his own basic measurements for years. Now he’s released a study of over 100 people using similar data to make lifesaving discoveries about heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.”
  • Can a Green School Building Teach? A Pre- and Post-Occupancy Evaluation of a Teaching Green School Building. “Amid increasing interests in social metrics within green buildings, this work focuses on buildings designed to enhance environmental education, here called “Teaching Green Buildings” (TGBs). This study examines one school building at three points in time before and after the move into a new construction TGB. …it was found that school practices, more than the green building itself, were pivotal in student choices to conduct ERBs at school.”
  • Ten questions concerning the built environment and mental health (Hoisington et al. 2019). “In this review, we provide an assessment that integrates historical research across disciplines. We offer ten questions that highlight the importance of current lessons learned regarding the built environment and mental health, including a po- tential role for the microbiome of the built environment to influence mental health. Suggested areas for future investigation are also highlighted.”
  • European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions: searchable library of publications and reports (here, subjective wellbeing).
  • Environmental Exposures and Depression: Biological Mechanisms and Epidemiological Evidence. “Mental health and well-being are consistently influenced—directly or indirectly—by multiple environmental exposures. In this review, we have attempted to address some of the most common exposures of the biophysical environment, with a goal of demonstrating how those factors interact with central structures and functions of the brain and thus influence the neurobiology of depression. We emphasize biochemical mechanisms, observational evidence, and areas for future research. Finally, we include aspects of contextual environments—city living, nature, natural disasters, and climate change—and call for improved integration of environmental issues in public health science, policies, and activities. This integration is necessary for reducing the global pandemic of depression.”

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