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Growing up near green spaces is linked to better mental health

Children who grow up in greener surroundings have a greatly reduced risk of developing mental illnesses later in life, research suggests.

A study that tracked almost a million people found that those who were raised among the lowest levels of green space were as much as 55 per cent more likely to develop disorders such as substance abuse, stress-related illnesses and schizophrenia.

A leafy childhood environment was as strongly linked to a person’s mental health as their family history of mental illness and only slightly less than their parents’ socio-economic status.

The link to good mental health was just as strong for those who lived in green areas of cities as for those who grew up deep in the countryside.

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