Psychological Consequences of the Flint Water Crisis: A Scoping Review


Brooks, S. K., & Patel, S. S. (2021). Psychological Consequences of the Flint Water Crisis: A Scoping Review. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness , 1-11.


Objective: To summarize existing literature on the mental health impact of the Flint Water Crisis.

Methods: In March 2020, we searched 5 databases for literature exploring the psychological consequences of the crisis. Main findings were extracted.

Results: 132 citations were screened and 11 included in the review. Results suggest a negative psychological effect caused by the water crisis, including anxiety and health worries, exacerbated by lowered trust in public health officials, uncertainty about the long-term impacts of the crisis, financial hardships, stigma, and difficulties seeking help. There was evidence that concerns about tap water continued even after the state of emergency was lifted.

Conclusions: With a possible compound effect to residents of Flint with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the results highlight the need for more resources for psychological health interventions in Flint as well as a need for local governments and health authorities to regain the trust of those affected by the Flint Water Crisis.

Keywords: flint water crisis; literature review; mental health; psychological warfare; public health.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 01/25/2022