Residents close to peace lines ‘have poorer mental health’

The findings were made by researchers at Queen's University
The findings were made by researchers at Queen's University

People living close to peace lines in Northern Ireland have worse mental health than the rest of the population, according to researchers at Queen’s University, Belfast.

The study indicates that living in an area in close proximity to a segregation barrier, or peace line, increases a person’s likelihood of being on antidepressant medication by 19 per cent and on anxiolytic medication, which inhibits anxiety, by 39 percent.

Lead researcher Dr Aideen Maguire said: “Neighbourhood segregation is known to be a fundamental determinant of physical health, but its effects on mental health are less clear.

“There are calls across Northern Ireland for peace lines to be removed.

“Our research indicates that the links between proximity to these barriers and poor mental health should be taken into consideration in discussions around this issue.”