Climate change ‘causing devastating impacts on mental health’

A new study claims to have found a ‘clear relationship’ between the rise in the world’s temperatures and suicide rates

The Big Zero report

Climate change is negatively impacting the mental health and emotional wellbeing of people around the world, according to researchers from Imperial College London.

A new study claims to have found a ‘clear relationship’ between the rise in the world’s temperatures and suicide rates.

It stresses a devastating footprint is being left on people affected by the threat of extreme weather events and warns climate change is exacerbating depression in young people – this is labelled ‘eco-anxiety’.

The report calls for action to be taken and claims that mental health has been disregarded as an impact of climate change, with historic focus remaining solely on policy and planning.

The researchers have urged for education to highlight climate actions that are being taken and for more light to be shed on positive strides for humankind. In addition, they have suggested the need for more focus on climate action that both improves the health of the planet and the health of people, for example air quality and the energy efficiency of housing.

The study read: “The impacts of climate change on mental health have been largely ignored when accounting for the costs and benefits of climate action and planning climate mitigation and adaptation responses.

“The good news is that climate action is likely to yield even greater benefits than previously considered, when accounting for the opportunities to prevent poor mental health outcomes and to improve mental health through win-win scenarios such as reduced air pollution and the wellbeing benefits to the individuals involved in community responses to climate change.”

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