The human story of coal’s downturn

A forthcoming report from the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy will offer a range of strategies to directly impact the economic and mental health crisis in coal country.

Researchers have long observed the decline in health and rise in unemployment and addiction in Appalachia. One decade ago, a report from the University of Chicago highlighted a higher than average rate of mental health disorders in coal-dependent communities. The follow-up report 10 years later added additional “diseases of despair” to the continued decline in health—substance abuse, suicide, and alcoholic liver disease. 

The report was funded by a federal grant and commissioned by the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center. Researchers at the Kleinman Center outlined five categories for revitalization and redevelopment in the affected Appalachian regions, and how to begin implementing changes.

Read more at Penn One Health, and a summary of the report at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.