Dr Anne Cleary

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Institute for Social Science Research
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
anne.cleary@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 51763

Overview

Anne is a transdisciplinary, mixed methods researcher with a focus on mental health and wellbeing promotion. Under this umbrella Anne has explored how people’s interactions and connection with nature relates to their psychological wellbeing as well as their attitudes and behaviours towards the environment. Anne has researched the role of nature-based interventions (Green Gyms, Care Farms) as part of social prescribing within mental health care. Anne has investigated the effectiveness of urban green space interventions for delivering social, health, environmental and equity outcomes.

Anne's research insterests include:

  • An overarching research focus is on mental health and wellbeing promotion.
  • Designing and evaluating nature-based interventions for health and wellbeing.
  • Understanding the role of nature in delivering healthy and sustainable urban environments.
  • Understanding the relationship between nature connection and wellbeing across the life-course

Research Interests

  • Urban green space and health and wellbeing
    Understanding how to design and deliver urban nature within our cities to promote health and wellbeing
  • Nature-based interventions for health and wellbeing
    Understanding how to design and deliver nature-based interventions that promote mental health and wellbeing.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Griffith University

Publications

View all Publications

Available Projects

  • Climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century. While certain physical health impacts of climate change are well understood, for example heat-related morbidity and mortality, the acute and chronic mental health impacts of climate change remain poorly understood. Depression is already the single largest contributor to global disability. Failing to adequately consider the climate change implications on mental health could further exacerbate and accelerate growing global trends in mental ill-health.

    Climate change compounds existing health inequalities with society’s vulnerable communities most at risk to climate change’s impacts on mental health. Ensuring healthy lives and wellbeing for all requires an understanding of these inequitable impacts of climate change on the mental health of marginalized and vulnerable populations.

    The many varied links between climate change and mental health, which are highly socially and culturally mediated, raise challenges in the understanding, operationalisation and measurement of these complex relationships. There is an urgent need for exploratory research to assess potential links between climate change and mental health; and to progress the field through proposing evidence-informed scales and measurements of mental health impacts in the face of climate change. Current discussions on appropriate climate change related mental health indicators are deficit focused, with suicide rates proposed as the potential indicator. To adequately assess the impact of climate change on mental health, a more comprehensive conceptualisation of mental health and imagining of appropriate measurement tools is required.

    This project will use existing data sources (such as national surveys) to explore trends in climate change related mental health illnesses, inequalities and resiliencies across geography, class and wealth. Population data from Australia and the United Kingdom will be explored with particular focus given to data representing communities vulnerable in both environmental and health terms, such as Indigenous, rural, remote and socio-economically deprived communities and young people. This exploration will shed light on the links between climate change and mental health and provide insight on practical and appropriate indicators for adequately assessing this relationship.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Hunter, Ruth F., Cleary, Anne and Braubach, Matthias (2019). Environmental, health and equity effects of urban green space interventions. Biodiversity and Health in the Face of Climate Change. (pp. 381-409) edited by Melissa R. Marselle, Jutta Stadler, Horst Korn, Katherine N. Irvine and Aletta Bonn. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-02318-8_17

Journal Article

Grants (Administered at UQ)

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century. While certain physical health impacts of climate change are well understood, for example heat-related morbidity and mortality, the acute and chronic mental health impacts of climate change remain poorly understood. Depression is already the single largest contributor to global disability. Failing to adequately consider the climate change implications on mental health could further exacerbate and accelerate growing global trends in mental ill-health.

    Climate change compounds existing health inequalities with society’s vulnerable communities most at risk to climate change’s impacts on mental health. Ensuring healthy lives and wellbeing for all requires an understanding of these inequitable impacts of climate change on the mental health of marginalized and vulnerable populations.

    The many varied links between climate change and mental health, which are highly socially and culturally mediated, raise challenges in the understanding, operationalisation and measurement of these complex relationships. There is an urgent need for exploratory research to assess potential links between climate change and mental health; and to progress the field through proposing evidence-informed scales and measurements of mental health impacts in the face of climate change. Current discussions on appropriate climate change related mental health indicators are deficit focused, with suicide rates proposed as the potential indicator. To adequately assess the impact of climate change on mental health, a more comprehensive conceptualisation of mental health and imagining of appropriate measurement tools is required.

    This project will use existing data sources (such as national surveys) to explore trends in climate change related mental health illnesses, inequalities and resiliencies across geography, class and wealth. Population data from Australia and the United Kingdom will be explored with particular focus given to data representing communities vulnerable in both environmental and health terms, such as Indigenous, rural, remote and socio-economically deprived communities and young people. This exploration will shed light on the links between climate change and mental health and provide insight on practical and appropriate indicators for adequately assessing this relationship.