Although health has improved for many people, the extent of health inequities between and within countries is growing. Meanwhile, humankind is disrupting the global climate and other life-supporting environmental systems, thereby creating serious risks for health and wellbeing, especially in vulnerable populations but ultimately for everybody.
This paper considers how climate change may affect rural Australian mental health. Rural Australians live with various systematic disadvantages and many feel marginalised; climate change, especially drought, has worsened this. With drier conditions and more severe droughts expected in much of southern and eastern Australia over coming decades, and the demands for change and adaptation that this will present, we urgently need to understand the likely consequences for the mental health and wellbeing of people in rural Australia. Existing knowledge can guide us through understanding
More than half of the global population now live in urban settings. Urbanization can and should be beneficial for health. In general, nations with high life expectancies and low infant mortality rates are those where city governments address the key social determinants of health.
: This report summarizes the social determinants of health in urban settings and provides guidance and examples of interventions that have been effective in achieving health equity. It is divided into 7 sections. Section 1 provides an introduction, and Section 2 discusses urbanization and the urban setting as health determinants. Section 3 describes the urban health situation, including disease burden, infectious diseases, injuries, violence, mental health, substance abuse, noncommunicable disease and nutritional disorders.
This paper outlines briefly how the living environment can affect health. It explains the links between social and environmental determinants of health in urban settings. Interventions to improve health equity through the environment include actions and policies that deal with proximal risk factors in deprived urban areas, such as safe drinking water supply, reduced air pollution from household cooking and heating as well as from vehicles and industry, reduced traffic injury hazards and noise, improved working environment, and reduced heat stress because of global climate change.
This chapter highlights the health risks of globalization without preventive systems and makes reference to the international efforts to ensure effective worker protection programs are in place. The improved global information and communications systems create new opportunities for occupational health advocacy that can help bring about such programs.