RTPI launches planning and mental health training resource

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A free online resource to help planners better understand the link between good planning and mental health has been launched by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

An Introduction to town planning for mental health, neurological and spectrum conditions’, released to coincide with World Mental Health Day 2019, emphasises the importance of understanding the relationship between town planning and mental health across all age groups.

Planning practice officer at the RTPI, Sarah Lewis MRTPI, said: “Over recent years the impact of poor mental health on society has been recognised and there is a clear link between the quality of where people live and their mental health.

“But there has been little exploration of the impact of good town planning on mental health and very little in the way of inclusion in local planning policy formulation. This resource will introduce planners to the role they can play in addressing these issues. ”

The online resource is part of the RTPI’s wider work on health and planning. It follows a call for evidence to help inform new advice on overcoming barriers to delivering healthy places.

The 30-minute training programme gives an overview of mental health in the UK, the economic and societal impacts of mental health and examples of how planners can make a difference for all age groups.

It also covers progressive neurological disorders, including dementia and spectrum conditions such as autism, which affect large numbers of people and highlights that the built environment can have a significant impact on quality of life for people with these conditions.

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