Major depressive disorder, dementia, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse affect a substantial part of the European older population. Over 70% of Europeans reside in cities, and this percentage will increase in the next decades. Urbanization and ageing have enormous implications for public mental health. Cities pose major challenges for older citizens, but also offer opportunities for the design of policies, clinical and public health interventions that promote mental health.
The overall aim of the MINDMAP project (2016 – 2019) is to identify the opportunities offered by the urban environment for the promotion of mental wellbeing and cognitive function of older individuals in Europe. To achieve this, the project will advance understanding by bringing together longitudinal studies across cities in Europe, the US and Canada to unravel the causal pathways and multi-level interactions between the urban environment and the individual determinants of mental wellbeing in older age. The project will examine the causes of variation in mental well-being and disorders in old age both within as well as between cities and identify national and urban policies for the prevention and early diagnosis of mental conditions and disorders of older people. Knowledge will significantly contribute to the establishment of preventive strategies in urban settings to promote the mental dimension of healthy ageing; reduce the negative impact of mental disorders on co-morbidities; and preserve cognitive function in old age.
MINDMAP is funded by the European Commission HORIZON 2020 research and innovation action 667661.