People who live among the destructive environmental effects of mountaintop coal mining face an increased risk of major depression. The results of a study conducted in the coal mining regions of Central Appalachia that explored the relationship between psychological health and environmental degradation are published in Ecopsychology.
Michael Hendryx (current affiliation Indian University, Bloomington) and Kestrel Innes-Wimsatt, West Virginia University, Morgantown, compared depressive symptoms among adults living in areas with and without mountaintop coal mining, a form of large-scale mining that uses explosives and heavy machinery to remove forests, rock and soil above coal seams, resulting in increased local air and water pollution. The authors present the relationship between these activities and the risk of mild, moderate, and severe depression in the article "Increased Risk of Depression for People Living in Coal Mining Areas of Central Appalachia."
"Vital empirical data on the importance of nature for human wellbeing are presented in this timely study," says Editor-in-Chief Peter H. Kahn, Jr., PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology and Director, Human Interaction With Nature and Technological Systems (HINTS) Lab, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
Read this related article in Ecopsychology on mountaintop removal coal mining "The Effects of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining on Mental Health, Well-Being, and Community Health in Central Appalachia."
The article is available free on the Ecopsychology website.