Poor air quality can impact and worsen conditions such as asthma and heart disease, but many people don’t realize that mental health can also be impacted. Studies conclusively show exposure to poor air quality through prolonged periods of time outside is linked with psychiatric disorders, including depression.
This is a double-edged sword – not only does breathing in polluted air directly impact mental health, but when people stay indoors to protect themselves from those pollutants, their risk for social isolation and loneliness increases, which has also shown to negatively impact mental health. This is even more prevalent for older adults, low-income residents, or people with disabilities – largely due to their limited mobility or lack of transportation.
In this Your California Life segment, CCA Health California’s Kristen Slater, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Director of Clinical Operations, shares advice on how people can safeguard their physical and mental health.