A study conducted by Dr. Rachel Buxton & her fellow researchers has shown that living in neighbourhoods with a higher variety of bird and tree species is associated with positive mental health.

It builds on a wave of research that shows how significantly exposure to nature can benefit your mental and physical health – decreasing stress, depression and anxiety, along with rates of diabetes, strokes and heart disease. But the study – which analyzed data across 36 Canadian cities to show bird diversity increased the probability of good mental health by nearly seven per cent, and tree diversity increased it by more than five per cent – helps demonstrate a tie between mental health and biodiversity, too.

The study used data from eBird, a crowdsourced app managed by Birds Canada, and a national forestry inventory to measure species diversity across cities including Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and Calgary. Researchers then compared that data with self-reported mental health.

Click here to read the full article.