University College London

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Climate change and mental health – an overview as part of UCL’s COP 26 campaign

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posted on 2022-10-21, 16:24 authored by Gesche HuebnerGesche Huebner

In this working paper, I provide a summary of how climate change impacts on mental health and point to gaps in knowledge.  

  • Substantial evidence shows that high temperatures and severe weather events are linked to mental health issues.
  • Eco-anxiety (worry about the environment) can cause psychological distress.
  • The mental health implications of climate change have been historically neglected both in research and policy.
  • Removing stigma around mental health is important to create resilient responses to mental health impacts of climate change and collect necessary data.
  • The cost implications of climate change impacts on mental health need to be considered.
  • Actions to mitigate climate change can positively influence mental health.
  • Worldwide tracking of the mental health impacts of climate change is necessary.
  • Key stakeholders such as policy makers, health care professionals, researchers and communities need to be brought together to share expertise, identify promising interventions and coordinate action.