Psychological Consequences of the Flint Water Crisis: A Scoping Review

10 June 2021

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: 32 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.