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 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 social, behavioral, psychosocial and biological determinants of mental health and cognitive function in older adults.
The overall aim of the MINDMAP project is to identify the opportunities offered by the urban environment for the promotion of mental wellbeing and cognitive function of older individuals in Europe. Knowledge will significantly contribute to future-proof preventive strategies in urban settings favoring the mental dimension of healthy ageing, the reduction of the negative impact of mental disorders on co-morbidities, and maintaining cognitive ability in old age.