Mental Health and Climate Change Linked
From Alaska to western Australia -- and everywhere in-between -- climate change is affecting communities and mental health. I'm a co-founder of the Resilient People + Climate Change Conference, which is "quite possibly the first trans-disciplinary conference to link mental health with climate change." We delved into the psychological and social impacts of climate change, drawing on insight from leading experts in environmental philosophy, psychology, ecological health, public health, mental health, Native Alaskan traditional culture, and trend forecasting to understand how climate change is affecting our social dynamics and mental well-being -- and how these converging stressors, in turn, may affect our ability to think well and to innovate. Our goal was to shed a completely new light on the climate change struggle -- and to purposefully move away from the scientific debate and proposed technological solutions to look at the psychological impacts that climatic instability is having on societies and cultures worldwide. Finally, harnessing the latest communications insights, we discussed how a new language and narrative are needed to convey climate-change messages. We also concluded that organizations need to become more psychologically and socially resilient in the face of climate change, and require more assistance with communicating the multiple interconnected challenges that lie ahead with greater effectiveness.