Photograph of an urban landscape covered in smog

Urban-induced depression in Vietnam

A showcase of our postgraduate students’ ‘Urbanisation in Vietnam’ field school research on the relationship between urbanisation and mental health in Vietnam.
Research has long established that the environment can significantly affect your mental health, both positively and negatively. Vietnam has experienced rapid urbanisation in the last few decades – what has been the impact on the local population?

When: Wednesday 1 May 2019

Featuring postgraduate students from SSEAC’s interdisciplinary field school on Urbanisation in Vietnam, this presentation examines the extent to which literature concerning urbanisation-induced depression is consistent with the views of relevant, albeit limited, stakeholders in Hanoi. Against a backdrop of rapid urbanisation in Hanoi, this presentation considers urban-induced depression from four angles: the extent to which depression is linked to the rapid rate of urbanisation; its prevalence; general awareness about the illness; and its stigmatisation.

While the correlation between the literature and the in-field studies is relatively high, the deviations reflect the fact that research is not keeping pace with the significant rate of change in the manifestation and understanding of depression in the fast-growing Hanoian community. Several potential areas for future research focus are identified, the highest priority being a comprehensive study of the prevalence of depression that could unlock increased funding for long overdue community awareness and frontline primary healthcare provider training programmes.


Our speakers are postgraduate students from Urban Planning (Richard Carter and Jill Davies), International Public Health (Jade Gomez) and Medicine (Fatema Ali).

This presentation is based on fieldwork and in-country research conducted in January 2019 and is both a showcase of student learning on SSEAC field schools as well as an insight into the state of current research on urban-induced depression in Vietnam.

This seminar was co-hosted by SSEAC and the Sydney School of History and Philosophy of Science.

Watch the event video