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How does temperature affect mental health?

the National Institute of Mental Health
the University of Massachusetts Amherst
California Polytechnic State University
the Journal of Health Economics

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the United States
San Louis Obispo


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   Negativity   66.00%
The New York Times
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According to a recent study, there is an association between hotter temperatures and an increase both in the number of hospital visits for mental health reasons and in suicide rates.Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and globally.According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2017, suicide claimed the lives of 47,173 people in the U.S., which is more than double the number of homicides.Of course, behind every suicide, there is a convoluted, interlinked web of causal factors.Unpicking the vast array of potential risk factors that can link to suicide is challenging work.However, because suicide rates in the U.S. have steadily increased from 2001 to 2017, understanding these factors is more pressing than ever.A group of scientists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and California Polytechnic State University, San Louis Obispo, is interested in the role of climate. Of course, the reason why people carry out this type of study is to identify risk factors in the hope that it might be possible to do something to reduce that risk.With this in mind, the authors write that "[a] direct policy recommendation stemming from our research is for mental health providers to ensure patients get adequate sleep during periods in which sleep is likely to be disturbed (such as a heat event)."The authors note that their study only focuses on temperature and that they hope that future work might probe other environmental factors that could influence mental health outcomes.Normal body temperature is around 98.6°F, though this varies from person to person.

As said here by Tim Newman