The Centre for Urban Mental Health aims to unravel new pathways to improve urban mental health that take into account the complexities and dynamics of mental health problems and mental health disorders in an urban environment.
There is much to gain from urban mental health research. Urban living is on the rise: more than 50 percent of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to rise to 66 percent by 2050. Urban environments are characterised by features that make city life not only economically attractive and exciting, but also more challenging and stressful than rural environments (‘urban stress’), which influences mental health. Therefore, this centre benefits society with joint approaches to new interventions and policy making towards the promotion of mental health.
In the Centre for Urban Mental Health, state-of-the art complexity science is used as a backbone to understand and intervene upon the complexities and dynamics of mental health problems in an urban environment, with special attention to common mental health problems and common mental health disorders. Research is aimed at understanding why and when some groups or individuals thrive in an urban setting, whereas other individuals appear to be vulnerable and sometimes develop mental problems.
This approach integrates previously unconnected theories and sources to identify new leverage points for interventions and policy making at different levels of description, which can be tested in collaboration with societal partners. This research will have direct relevance for mental health in general and for Amsterdam in particular.
The Centre for Urban Mental Health is embedded within three faculties of the University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine, and the Faculty of Science, together with the Institute for Advanced Studies.