Climate change and mental health

Climate change can adversely affect mental health related through extreme weather events, such as heat waves, droughts, floods,wildfires, major storms, as well as changes such as increasing ambient temperatures.

Climate change may have effects that are indirect such as displacement of people from their homes, and causemfood insecurity, increased anxiety due the perception associated with such climate changes.

Extreme weather events are related to higher rates of anxiety, depression, post, traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation, and attempts, and substance abuse.

Approximately 25 to 50% of individuals exposed to an acute extreme weather event will experience adverse mental health outcomes, most commonly anxiety, depression, or PTSD.

Adverse mental health effects may persist for months or years.

In children with PTSD, secondary to a climate event can be associated with smaller gray matter and hippocampal volumes compared with healthy children.

The mental health effect of extreme weather events depends on the magnitude and degree of harm, prior exposure to traumatic events or economic stresses, and access to food, shelter, social support, medical and mental healthcare.

The effects of higher ambient temperatures significantly reduced or increased precipitation, rising sea levels can all impair mental health on a chronic basis.

Higher temperatures are associated with increased hospitalizations into psychiatric institutions and suicidal deaths.

Increased temperatures may impair mood and cognition and is associated with increased violent behavior.

Some studies suggest a 6% increase in homicide and 7% increase in major depressive disorders, globally, for every increase in 1°C temperature.

Climate change affects economic well-being, and increases rates of poverty, and food and security.

Home values may decline due to increasedflooding a wildfires, and insurance premiums could elevate.

Changing economic situations may require people to migrate.

Economic insecurity and involuntary migration negatively affect mental health, particularly in the young.

Adverse climate events affect economics by disrupting communities and networks of social support.

Climate change is associated with uncertainties about future potential harms affecting well-being.

Climate anxiety is linked to clinical anxiety and depression.

Adverse effects of climate change are not equally distributed: there is higher vulnerability to climate change in geographic locations, such as low lying islands, coast lines and flood plains, female sex, due to social roles and childbearing, lower socio,economic status, younger or older age, pre-existing mental conditions.

Indigenous peoples are more likely to be affected by climate change because they often live in areas vulnerable to such changes.

Individuals living in the global south – Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and parts of Asia are experiencing stronger adverse effects of climate change.



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