Professor Receives Award to Study Mental Health Impact from Extreme Heat

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has awarded a two-year grant to Boston University School of Public Health to investigate the impact of extreme heat on mental health among uninsured and publicly insured individuals in the City of Boston. Dr. Amruta Nori-Sarma, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health and the principal investigator, will lead this mixed-methods study that aims to understand how environmental factors and individual behaviors contribute to the effects of heat on mental health within the high-risk population. The study will leverage data on psychiatric emergency service encounters and temperature to gain insight into the exposure-response relationship. These quantitative analyses will be supplemented by qualitative interviews with clinicians who are treating the study’s population during the summer months. Additionally, the study will evaluate the impact of neighborhood-level features and individual vulnerability indicators as potential social, behavioral, and environmental determinants.

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