Advancing environmental health equity
As the world’s largest healthcare company, we have a unique opportunity to look beyond our own operations and support people around the world who are experiencing the impacts of climate change on their physical and mental health.
Nature and mental health
Research shows that both direct and indirect impacts of climate change are affecting mental health. At the same time, exposures to nature and a healthy environment can reduce stress and improve feelings of well-being. We are investing in programs and working with partners to examine the impacts of environmental factors on mental well-being as well as the healing and health potential of spending time in nature.
We are supporting a project with Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health to develop globally-relevant metrics that can be used to measure the impacts of climate change on mental health. This is an expansion of our existing relationship with Harvard, including its involvement in mental health projects like Johnson & Johnson’s Science for Minds Initiative.
With The Gund Institute for Environment we are supporting a postdoctoral fellow to study the relationships between nature and mental health, including the effectiveness of nature exposure therapy in young adults. The Gund Institute is a center for interdisciplinary research focused on understanding the interactions among ecological, social, and economic systems.
We commissioned a white paper, co-written by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), studying the correlation between the environment and mental health in Europe and how careful policy coordination between government functions can simultaneously advance environmental quality, urban vitality, and better mental health.
Forests and human health
The world’s forests offer many critical ecosystem services - they provide us with oxygen, food and medicine. They also sustain ecosystem services such as water purification, and mitigation of natural hazards like droughts, floods and landslides. But according to researchers, deforestation is exacerbating both climate change and the emergence of new infectious diseases.Expand
We are working with and supporting partners on efforts to better understand the connections between changes in land use and human health outcomes. This has included numerous forest conservation and research projects led by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). With Johnson & Johnson’s support, in 2022 WWF released The Vitality of Forests, a report synthesizing a mounting body of evidence that documents how human health depends on forests.Collapse
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