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Mounting evidence shows that the environment can play an important role in mental health, yet comparatively few studies have focused on the mental or behavioral health outcomes of environmental stressors. The Interplay Between Environmental Exposures and Mental Health Outcomes, a virtual workshop held on February 2-3, 2021, provided mental health and environmental health research experts from government, academia, and the private sector with the opportunity to explore emerging research on the relationships between environmental exposures and mental health. Workshop presentations covered a broad array of the diverse makeup of environmental exposures, including those that are chemical, biological, or physical, and either natural or human-made in origin. Furthermore, while the historical definition of an environmental exposure refers to a contact that causes a negative health effect, some presenters highlighted how a person's environment can lead to positive mental health outcomes. Workshop participants also discussed approaches to better integrate mental and behavioral health into multidisciplinary considerations of environmental health; considered how mental and behavioral health impacts could become part of environmental risk assessments and public health choices; and highlighted new tools and technologies to assess ways in which the environment can affect mental health. This Proceedings of a Workshop-in Brief provides the rapporteurs' high-level summary of the topics addressed in the workshop and suggestions provided by workshop participants for ways of integrating mental and behavioral health research and environmental research.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. The Interplay Between Environmental Exposures and Mental Health Outcomes: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26201.

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12 pages | 8.5 x 11 |  DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/26201

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